Wayne Gretzky tried to rally his beleaguered Canadian hockey team on Monday and they responded in kind – with a nail-biting win.
Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis and Chris Pronger built an early first period lead for Canada but the team was on its heels the rest of the way, holding on for a 3-2 victory over the Czech Republic in their last game of the preliminary round.
With a shaky Tomas Vokoun replaced by Milan Hnilicka, Canada appeared to be in control of the game after the first 20 minutes.
The Czechs, however, charged right back as Pavel Kubina scored on Martin Brodeur in the second period and Petr Cajanek pulled them within one in the third.
Hnilicka did his part, stopping all eight shots he faced over the final two sessions, including a denial of St. Louis on a breakaway in the second and a left pad stop on the 2004 Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner from alone on the right side less than a minute later.Olympics