Official taken away on stretcher after incident at end of Canadian-Czech semifinal
The Canadian women's team will play for gold, while Canada's men are left to seek consolation in a bronze-medal attempt as the 2013 world ball hockey championships conclude today in the metro St. John's area.
The Canadian men's team lost 5-1 to the defending champions Czech Republic Saturday night at Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay in a semifinal contest marred by what happened in its waning moments.
Canadian defenceman Justin Pender of St. John's was given a double match penalty with one second left after an incident that resulted in a game official being taken off the floor on a stretcher. The official was reportedly injured as he tried to intervene when Pender tangled with a Czech player after the winners scored an empty-net goal. Czech goaltender Lukas Heczko was also involved.
As for what will result, a posting on the world ball hockey championships Twitter site (@2013WBHC) read "A Canadian player acted violently towards another player. Referees will announce penalties and proper processes will be followed. Tournament will issue statement once that has occurred."
Jan Bacovsky, with two, Tomas Hak, Tomas Kudela and Jan Pospisil had the goals for the Czechs.
Canada, which had gone 4-0 in round-robin play, got its lone goal from veteran Terry Ryan of Mount Pearl, set up by two other Newfoundlanders, Chris Sparkes and Robert Slaney.
Canada will play Portugal in the bronze-medal game at the Mount Pearl Glacier (1:45 p.m.), while the Czech Republic and Slovakia square off in the gold-medal final, which will be played at Jack Byrne Arena, with a 3:30 p.m. start time.
Slovakia edged Portugal 4-3 in Saturday's other men's semifinal.
In the women's division, Team Canada easily advanced to today's championship game with an 8-0 shutout of the United States in semifinal play Saturday night at the Glacier.
Kristen Cooze of Kippens and Alicia Blomberg led the way for the Canadians, each contributing two goals. Amanda Kean of St. Anthony, Erika Pouliot, Franceska Perron, Allicia Blomberg and Chantal Laroque had the other goals for Canada, which got a shared shutout from netminders Katie Passfield and Delayne Bryan.
The Canadians will face Slovakia in today's gold-medal game, which goes 1 p.m. at Jack Byrne Arena. The Slovaks advanced with a thrilling 1-0 overtime win over the defending champion Czech Republic in Saturday's other women's semifinal. Viktoria Ihnatova scored that game's only goal 5:49 into the extra frame.
The Czechs and United States meet for the women's bronze medal 11:45 a.m. today at the Glacier.
In men's B pool play, Italy and Bermuda face off 10:30 a.m. today at Jack Byrne Arena, with the winner earning promotion to the A pool for the next worlds.