Former Boston Bruins forward Miroslav Satan slipped home a short-handed tiebreaker to give Team Slovakia an eventual 3-1 victory over the Czech Republic in Saturday’s semifinals of the IIHF World Championship.
Satan has not seen action on North American ice since his four-and-a-half-month stint with Boston in 2009-10, which he capped off with three game-winning goals in the playoffs.
But he has reunited with one of his most recent NHL teammates for this tournament in Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. And not unlike their last collaboration in New England, they will try to deliver a drought-splashing title, this one in the form of Slovakia’s first World Championship gold medal in 10 years.
The Slovaks will tangle with Russia in the final game at 1:30 local time Sunday in Helsinki. The preceding bronze medal tilt will pit David Krejci’s Czechs against the host Finns.
Krejci has tallied two goals and four assists in nine World Championship games, although his prom night pimple in the plus/minus column has carried over from his 2011-12 NHL season. He has a minus-five in the international dance to match his final tally in the regular season with the Bruins.
Chara, on the other hand, is in a three-way tie for his team’s lead with a plus-six rating and has chipped in a pair of assists. And he's running away with the Slovak lead for ice time with a nightly average of 23 minutes and 43 seconds.
Satan, the Slovaks’ co-leader with 24 shots on goal, had a multi-goal outing against the border-rival Czechs on Saturday.
Regardless of Sunday’s outcome, Satan is already assured his sixth IIHF World Championship medal. He previously won gold with his country in 1994, 1995 and 2002, silver in 2000 and bronze in 2003.
Chara, a member of the silver-medal team in 2000, also won bronze in the 2004 tournament.
Krejci’s international trophy case consists solely of a bronze medal from the 2005 World Junior Championship.