“They knew the importance of the game. They wanted to win the game as badly as we did but we played the way we wanted to and our goalie played awesome,” said Czech forward Martin Havlat.
Milan Michalek and Jaromir Jagr scored for the Czechs while Ondrej Pavelec made 31 saves. Anssi Salmela scored Finland’s lone goal.
Finland and the Czech Republic almost always seem to clash at key points in international events, which makes it an excellent rivalry. Last year, in the Vancouver Olympics, Finland beat the Czechs 2-0 in the quarter-finals, only to be at the receiving end at the World Championship in Cologne, losing the quarter-final after a penalty shootout.