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Frolik scores, but the Czech Republic falls 3-1 to Slovakia in semifinals

Saturday, 05.19.2012 / 12:46 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
MIchael Frolik tallied the Czech Republic's only goal of the game in a 3-1 loss to Slovakia in the semifinals of the World Championship.

The Czech Republic authored one of the most exciting finishes in the quarterfinal round, stunning Sweden with a last-minute game-winner, but could not repeat their performance in the semifinal round against Slovakia. The game was tied through two period, but Slovakia tallied twice early in the third period and held on to book their trip to the final against Russia. Michael Frolik scored the only goal for the Czechs and was named Best Player for his team at the end of the game.

The first period was evenly played, but Miroslav Satan scored at 15:52 to give Slovakia the 1-0 lead. That score would hold until halfway through the middle frame, when the Czechs equalized through a set piece. Tomas Plekanec won an offensive-zone faceoff, and Frolik unelashed a high wrister that beat the Slovakian goaltender.

Later in the period, Frolik seemed to catch a high hit and left the ice with a cut to his face. He would return to the game, but only saw limited time in the third period.

The Czech Republic had an opportunity to take the lead on a power play to start the third period, but a wipeout at the point sent Slovakia on an odd-man rush in the other direction. Michal Handzus fed Satan for his second goal of the game, and the eventual game-winner. Just over three minutes later, Libor Hudacek capitalized off a Czech turnover to give Slovakia a 3-1 lead.

The Czechs replaced goaltender Jakub Kovar with backup Jakub Stepanek, but couldn't find a late burst of momentum, despite a power play halfway through the period and nearly two minutes with the goalie pulled. Overall, the Czech Republic outshot their opponent 37-28, but Jan Laco was stellar in net for Slovakia.

Frolik led all Czech skaters with six shots on goal and finished with a +1 plus/minus rating in 13:18 of ice time. The Czech Republic will play Finland for the bronze medal tomorow.