scores two late third period goals knocking the Czech Republic out of the Vancouver Olympics, 2-0.
Finnish forward Niklas Hagman scored on a deflection at the 13:34 mark of the third period after Czech defenseman Pavel Kubina lost his helmet and had to fetch it from behind the net, leaving Hagman all alone in front.
“It was an unfortunate break, but that's hockey,” Vokoun said. “Not many pretty goals are scored here any more. It's always going to be something like that.”
International hockey rules state that if a player loses his helmet he must retrieve the helmet or leave the ice immediately; failing to do so would result in a penalty. Kubina fell victim to a rule that doesn’t exist in the NHL, but does in international play for obvious safety reasons.
“It was good for us he lost his helmet, but it's a stupid rule,” Hagman said. “I know they want to keep it safe, (but) if you lose a helmet, you should let the guy play. I don't know what they're thinking, but that's the rules and you have to play with them.”
The Hagman tally proved to be the game winner. Finland padded their lead with a Valtteri Filppula empty net goal after the Czech Republic pulled goalie Tomas Vokoun perhaps too early with 1:35 to play.
With the win Finland moves on to take on the top seeded Americans, Friday at 3 PM, and the Czech head home with a little uncertainty.
“It's not going to be easy,” Finnish veteran Teemu Selanne (and all time winter Olympic point leader) said. “We want to play our best game that night, and whatever happens, we can live with that.”
We learned from the Czechs that at times Jaromir Jagr can be just as magical as he used to be, but the those moments were rare. It seems that age has certainly caught up with the former NHL scoring champion who, perhaps poetically, left his stick on the bench after the game.
Vokoun remained dominant throughout Olympic play. He heads home to Florida, but with the NHL trade deadline looming, and his name churning in the rumor mills, who knows for how long. I’ll tell you this much, if Chicago and Florida do make a deal, start planning the parade in Chicago (I don’t see any team, even Washington, outlasting that squad).
Finland vs. USA & Slovakia vs. Canada, round out the final four.
APPLES & ORANGES:
In depth look into the differences between NHL rules and International Hockey rules
IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW:
Trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic. This game looks AMAZING.
I have this theory that all hockey fans are also hardcore Star Wars fans so don't ruin this for me.
About the Author
Written by Jack Powell
My name is Jack Powell. I'm 26 and work for a civil contracting company in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I've been a Panther fan since the team was formed in 1993 and don't ever plan on not being one. Looking forward to see what new Panther GM Dale Tallon is going to do to rebuild this franchise and make us a Cup contender!!