The Czech hockey players lost in the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament in Beijing with the highly favored USA team 1: 4. The Czechs even led sensationally against the gold defenders after Michaela Pejzlová opened the score in the 25th minute. The Americans, who together with Canada reign over women’s hockey, but quickly equalized and decided in the third period with three goals to advance to the semifinals.
Goalkeeper Klára Peslarová, who scored 55 interventions, gave an excellent performance in the historically first Czech-American duel.
As expected, the Czechs came under pressure from the beginning. The Americans had more of the game and the central figure of the match was the Czech goalkeeper. In the middle of the first period, she already had ten interventions, but she also managed to weaken when Radová was expelled.
In the 11th minute, Murphyová wandered to the penalty bench for rudeness, the Czech team settled more significantly in the attacking zone for the first time, but did not endanger the goalkeeper Cavallinová. Křížová’s attempt was blocked and the American goalkeeper did not score a single intervention in the first part. The Czech hockey players became the sixth women’s team, which did not endanger the opponent’s goalkeeper for a third. And the first since Turin 2006. Peslarová had eighteen interventions, but she didn’t have a good chance to deal with it.
At the beginning of the second part, the Americans did not use the third power play, on the contrary, the Czechs got into promising opportunities. However, the defense blocked three shooting attempts. In the 25th minute, however, the Czechs took the lead sensationally, when after the action of Vanišová and Křížová, Pejzlová finished in an empty goal.
But overseas players were able to respond quickly. After 48 seconds, Knight leveled from the finish. In the 34th minute, Cameranesio received a five-minute penalty for Radová, but the Czechs did not take advantage of the long numerical advantage. On the contrary, Carpenterová got the most chance, but Peslarová liquidated her independent raid.
In the beginning of the third period, Peslarová held the team under overwhelming pressure from the opponent, in the 46th minute, after a Knight shot, she helped her pole, but then capitulated for the second time. Pejzlová unfortunately ran Stecklein’s shot between the concrete.
In the 57th minute, the nine-time world champion calmed down with a stop in the power play Harmonová. A minute before the end, coach Tomáš Pacina decided to recall the goalkeeper, but instead of a reduction, the Americans increased the victory.
XXIV. Beijing Winter Olympics:
Hockey – Women, Quarterfinals:
USA – Czech Republic 4: 1 (0: 0, 1: 1, 3: 0)
Goals and recordings: 26. Knight (Coyne-Schofield, Brandt), 47. Stecklein (Pannek, Keller), 57. Harmon (Brandt, Knight), 60. Coyne-Schofield – 25. Pejzlova (Vanis, Krizova). Judges: Mantha (CAN), Nurmi (FIN) – Hammar (Sweden), Hanley (USA). Exclusion: 3: 5, plus Cameranesi (USA) 5 min. Utilization: 1: 0.
USA: Cavallini – Barnes, Stecklein, Harmon, Keller, Bozek, Dunne, Harvey – Knight, Brandt, Coyne-Schofield – Kessel, Roque, Carpenter – Zumwinkle, Pannek, Cameranesio – Murphy, Compher. Scamurra. Coach: Noel Johnson.
Czech Republic: Peslarova – Horalkova, Tejralova, Kolowratova, Cajanova, Radova, Pejsova – Vanisova, Pejzlova, Krizova – Neubauerova, Mlynkova, Mrazova – Laskova, Mills, Pribylova – Serdar, Patkova, Bukolska. Coach: Tomáš Pacina.