20. february 2010 / TWO POINTS FOR PATRIK ELIAS LIFTS CZECHS OVER LATVIA 5-2
Patrik Elias made his mark on the score sheet for the second straight game in the 2010 Olympics, putting his stamp on the fourth and fifth goals of a 5-2 win over Latvia Friday to bring the Czech team to 2-0 and in good position to win Group B.
The Czech squad jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first five minutes of the opening period with goals from David Krejci, Tomas Plekanec and Jaromir Jagr. Just over six minutes into the second period, with the Czechs up a man, Patrik corralled a pass at the left point, charged forward and threw a seamless cross-ice pass over to a wide-open Tomas Kaberle, who buried it in the top of the net to make it 4-0. Latvia made the game interesting by putting in two late second period goals, but the Czech defense tightened up in the third and shut Latvia’s comeback hopes down.
Patrik fooled Latvia’s latch-ditch effort in the final 20 seconds of the game to seal the victory. With the opposing net empty, he intercepted a pass in the Czech zone and tossed a long shot down the ice that sailed into the open cage. The goal is Patrik’s second in the young tournament. He now has three points (2g, 1a) in two games.
On Sunday afternoon, the Czech team (2-0-0) will face Russia (1-0-1), who dropped their most recent game to Slovakia. If the Czech team doesn’t lose in regulation they will secure the top spot of Group B and receive an automatic bye to the Quarterfinals on Wednesday. (Dan Altano)