Japanese victory was decided by only one goal in the shootout

In the second match Czech sledge hockey team competed with Japan. The entire match was quite equal. Many opportunities were there at both sides but any were not capitalized thanks to great goalkeepers or own failure. We have not seen any goals after 45 minutes so game went into overtime which did not bring winner as well. Winner was finally decided only by one successful shootout player, Endo. Czechs even in their second game havent score any goal.

 
 
      |   10.5.2009, Adam Bagar, Michal Berg
 
 
 
2. A, Sunday 10.5.2009
Japan - Czech republic  1:0sn  (0:0, 0:0, 0:0 - 0:0 - 1:0)
Goals and assists: game winning shot Endo. Referee: Berkebile - Heltman, Bokal. Penalties: 3:4. Visitors: 1009. Shoots on goal: 19:8.
Japan: Nagase - Misawa, Ishida, Endo, Sudo - Daisuke (C), Takahashi (A), Yoshikawa - Ito, Annaka, Nakamura - Majima, Yaguchi (A).
Czech republic: Vápenka - Hrbek, Kvoch, Kubeš, Hábl, Klíma - Geier, Fojtík (A), Berger (C) - Krupička, Šafránek, Palát - Raul.
» Game sheet (PDF)
» Game report (PDF)

Report

Beginning of the match belonged to the Czech team. After twelve seconds Geir had a nice shot on goal but it went just above the goal post. Few moments later goalkeeper Nagas caught another shot, this time from Kvoch. And Japan started to control the match. Endo was able to come to the Czech cage but there was well guarding Vápenka. He also caught shot from Ishida. Japan did not use even power-play with Endo´s great opportunity to score so after first period it was still 0:0.

In the second period every one was waiting for initial goal. Berger was very close was at one side, and Daisuke on the other side but goalkeepers were good at both sides. Both teams played very actively and spectators liked many shooting opportunities. Yokoshiva overshot and great Michal Vápenka caught the shot from Takahashi. Czechs also threatened with shot from Geier but this was caught by goalie Nagase. At the very end of the second period Takahashi tried a good luck at the right pole of the Czech cage but Vápenka saved the goal with gorgeous action.

Third period began without any goal. No goal was scored even in a power play of the Czech team. In the 38th minute shot good try Berger and the same player failed while was alone in front of Nagase. At the other side Daisuke was not able to go thorough Vápenka. Vápenka also had to face another attack from Ita. Two minutes before the end went to the Japan cage Hábl alone but even he did not score. Afterwards Japan fight off the dangerous situation in front of their cage so game went into overtime.

In five minute overtime Japan played more, despite there was no goal so shootout had a turn. Both goalkeepers were brilliant. Only one player able to score so was Takayuki Endo. Japan so defeated Czech Republic 1:0 in shootout.

Game quotes

Not a single goal in 50 minutes havent seen more than 1000 fans during the regular time and overtime. And only one player out of six was successfull in the game winning shots. Japanse goalie Mitsuru Nagase recorded his first shutout on the tournament. "It was very tough game, but I think we had more shoots than Czech republic, and also more scoring chances. Goalie of Czech team was very good," says Japan netminder, who stopped 8 czech attempts during the game and three in the penalty shootout. "Yes, I got a good game with no goal, but this game was good for both goalies," agrees.

Japan now with 4 points clinched a semifinal spot, regardless the results of last games in round robin. Mitsuru Nagase expressed a big happines about that fact. "We are really happy to be there, our goal is to advance to the finals and this is the first step on our way. Now we have to focus on the semifinal game, we will play probably Norway or USA, I dont know yet, and try to get info the finals. It will be tough game anyway," adds.

In the overtime Japan almost havent allowed Czechs to play with the puck, their speedy skating made a lot of troupble to czech defence. "This is the way how we play, we can run and skate for very long time, we have a good practice and we can never loose at this point. We have big confidence on our stamina and energy."

Sareza stadium in Ostrava havent been so full like it has been for the previous game, but people was able to create a noisy atmosphere and supported czech team. Nagase liked that fact very much. "Fans were great, of course they supported home team, but I am very happy that I can play over here. Czech republic is a big hockey country. I am a big fan of czech goalie Dominik Hasek, I wear a number 39 by him, so I am happy to be here. Hockey is not a such big sport in Japan, so people does know how to cheer, but we have also fans there, but not as noisy as here," said Nagase, pointing on the number on his jersey with a huge smile.

Mitsuru Nagase

Mitsuru Nagase

 
 
 
 
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