Nagy lifts Slovaks in OT

Slovakia finishes 10th and Norway 11th

04.05.2009
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Zurich  SWITZERLAND

Slovakia's Marcel Hossa fights for the puck as goalie Pal Grotnes makes a save. Photo: Jukka Rautio / HHoF-IIHF Images.

ZURICH-KLOTEN - Ladislav Nagy's power-play goal at 2:07 of overtime gave Slovakia a 3-2 win over Norway in the final game for both teams at the 2009 World Championship for both teams.

The game had no significance to the upcoming playoff elimination games as both teams failed to qualify. The only result is that Slovakia finishes in fifth place in Group F and goes home one ranking higher than the Norwegians in the final rankings (10th to 11th). "Any time you play for your country is an honour," said Slovakian Michal Handzus, "but we have to be disappointed with our tournament. We didn't gel as a team, and we didn't play one really good game the whole time." Norway's captain, Tommy Jakobsen, had a different perspective. "We have to know who we are," he said. "We're not Canada. For us, to stay in the top division is a success. Of course, you'd always like to go up another step, but for us we had a good tournament." Slovakia struck first on a power play midway through the opening period. Goalie Pal Grotnes stopped a point shot from Jaroslav Obsut, but a mad scramble ensued after he left a rebound. Stefan Ruzicka, off to the side of the net, pushed home the loose puck as it rolled out of the crowd.

Less than two minutes later, it was 2-0 after Peter Smrek’s point shot beat an unscreened Grotnes cleanly. Norway didn’t help its own cause in the opening period, taking five minor penalties.

Norway rallied and made a game of things midway through the second period on a beautiful goal. Morten Ask was skating out of his own end with the puck when he hit Anders Bastiansen with a perfect pass. Bastiansen, in full flight, tore through the two Slovakian defencemen and beat Jaroslav Halak with a quick shot over the blocker.

The comeback was complete at 5:27 of the third when Lars Erik Lund ripped a terrific point shot over the glove of Halak on the power play. Despite dominating for two periods the Slovakians were now in a 2-2 game.

The third period was filled with minor penalties, and Norway had two five-on-three opportunities, but couldn't get the go-ahead goal. That led to overtime and Nagy's power play winner. "We were up 2-0 and should have been able to put them away," Nagy ended. But we stoped playing and they got back in the game. That wasn't our plan." ANDREW PODNIEKS

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