Slovakia scored three straight goals, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the four-goal deficit built by the Czech Republic as the Czechs held on to defeat the rival nation 5-3 in their Sochi Olympics playoff qualifier on Wednesday.
The Czech Republic got the scoring started in the first period with two goals in 29 seconds by Alex Hemsky and Roman Cervenka. David Krejci would add a third marker in the period late to make it 3-0 for the Czechs.
After Cervenka’s second goal of the game made it 4-0, Slovakia then began to show signs of life as Marian Hossa made it 4-1 right before the second expired. Two goals in 1:30 by Hossa and Tomas Surovy midway through the third period made it a 4-3 game, but an empty net goal after an Andrej Meszaros penalty by Tomas Plekanec sealed the deal of the Czech Republic.
Ondrej Pavelec made 29 saves for the Czechs while Jan Laco stopped 24 of 28 shots for Slovakia.
The Czech Republic now have a date with the second-seeding team from the United States on Wednesday afternoon at Noon EST. That game can be seen in the U.S.A on NBC Sports Network.
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