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Czech team players celebrate with their trophy their 3-2 victory over Finland during their IIHF Hockey World Championships bronze medal match at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, Sunday, May 20, 2012. (Dmitry Lovetsky/AP/Dmitry Lovetsky/AP)
Czech team players celebrate with their trophy their 3-2 victory over Finland during their IIHF Hockey World Championships bronze medal match at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, Sunday, May 20, 2012. (Dmitry Lovetsky/AP/Dmitry Lovetsky/AP)

David Krejci scores winner as Czech Republic beats Finland 3-2 to take bronze Add to ...

The Czech Republic scored three goals in the opening period to win bronze at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.

David Krejci scored the winner in the final minute of the first in a 3-2 win over defending champion Finland on Sunday.

Finland outshot the Czechs 14-1 in the last period but the Czech defence and goaltender Jakub Stepanek held on to finish with 34 saves.

“It feels pretty good,” said Krejci. “The loss against Slovakia yesterday hurt. We let the final slip away, but that’s how it goes. At this tournament, it comes down to one game and it didn’t work for us yesterday.

“We regrouped pretty well last night and today, and the bronze medal feels pretty good right now.”

Petr Prucha and Jiri Novotny added the other goals for the Czechs.

Mika Pyorala scored in the first and Jussi Jokinen added a second in the third for Finland.

The result ended Finnish captain Mikko Koivu’s 11-tournament medal streak.

“We wanted to show our fans all we had,” said Koivu. “We wanted to finish in a good way. We’re proud to be members of the team, but that’s sports. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”

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