Hockey: Slovak Heroes Bring Back Silver
The whole nation had its fingers crossed for the final of the Ice Hockey World Championships in Finland, as Slovakia took on the mighty bear of Russia last night.
The Slovaks started well, getting an early goal after a minute, as Chara blasted his 175 kph shot into the goal. They only managed to hold onto their lead for about eight minutes, though, with the Russians equalising to end the first period 1-1.
Everything started to go wrong in the second period, though, as the favourites Russia made use of all mistakes made by the Slovak team, extending their lead. The second period ended 4-1.
The third period was not much better for the Slovaks, who were constantly under pressure from the Russians, who remained unbeaten in the championships, slaughtering most of their opponents. The final score was 6-2, with Chara (who scored both goals for Slovakia) being voted Man of the Match.
Slovakia were pretty much one of the underdogs in the tournament, so getting the silver medal is a massive success. Third place went to the Czech team, which was beaten 3-1 by Slovakia in the semi-final. For many Slovaks, this was a gold medal in itself thanks to the rivalry between the two countries.
The team will fly back today to a massive welcome, touring Bratislava to end at SNP square later this afternoon, where as many as 25,000 fans are expected to show up to show their appreciation for the great result of the Slovak team.