If at first you don't succeed, try again. Olympic rules allow players multiple attempts in the shootout after three shots have been taken by each side and Pavol Demitra was unsuccessful on his first effort. Demitra, who assisted on Marian Hossa's game-tying goal, beat Ilya Bryzgalov on his second endeavor during a seven-round shootout sending the Slovakians to a 2-1 win over the Russians in the tournament's first upset.â†µ
The 35-year-old flicked the puck over Bryzgalov's pad tucking it in off the left post while skating to the right. It was a cool finish by the veteran and one that any goaltender would have been lucky to stop.â†µ
It was a courageous win for the underdog Slovakians who were beaten by the Czech Republic less than 24 hours earlier. Jaroslav Halak made 36 saves and was beaten once in the shootout by Alexander Ovechkin who was awarded three opportunities.â†µ
Back to Demitra, here's what he had to say regarding his goal and how irrelevant fatigue is in this competition:â†µ
"That was a great move by me," Demitra said, without a wink. "Obviously, I had a second chance and I was going from the other side. I wait, wait, wait to make the first move and I chip it over him."â†µ
"When you play for your country in the Olympics ... you have one chance in your life. You have to do whatever you can."â†µ
Slovakia was labelled as a dark horse for achieving a medal in this year's hockey tournament. Now we know why.