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HASEK Dominik
HASEK Dominik

Dominik HASEK

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The dominator

Ice Hockey Goalie Dominik Hašek represented Czechoslovakia at the 1988 Calgary Olympics, playing in 5 of 8 games. Two years later, he joined the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL) and later settled in with the Buffalo Sabres. When the NHL agreed to allow its players to compete in the Olympics in 1998, it was assumed that the final would be a battle between Canada and the United States. But in the quarterfinals, the Czech Republic stunned the U.S. 4-1 as Hašek made 38 saves.

The Czechs faced Canada in the semifinals and it turned out to be one of the greatest games in Olympic history. With the score tied 1-1 after overtime, the match went into penalty shootout. Robert Reichel took the Czech’s first shot and made it. Canadian goalie Patrick Roy stopped the other four Czech shots, but it was to no avail. Hašek stopped all five Canadian attempts. Theo Fleury, Ray Bourgue, Joe Nieuwendyk, Eric Lindros and Brendan Shanahan - Hašek beat them all.

So the final, improbably, matched Russia and a Czech playing squad that included nine non-NHL players. Hašek and Russian goalie Mikhail Shtalenkov both recorded 20 saves. The problem for the Russians was that the Czechs took 21 shots, as Petr Svoboda scored a 15m slap shot in the final period.

After the medal ceremony, Hašek said, "When I saw the flag go up, I saw my whole career flash before my eyes from the first time my parents took me to a hockey game until now." Hašek also played in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, but the Czechs were eliminated in the quarterfinals by the Russians. But a great comeback for Dominik Hašek's team at the Turin Games in 2006. The Czechs took the bronze medal hands down with a score of 3-0 against the Russians, and in front of a majority of the opponent's supporters. Being injured, however, Hašek was not on the ice for this game.

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