Slovakia avenge Bartecko hit in win

By @ibtimes on

Slovakia paid Norway back for a nasty first-period hit by taking a 4-3 victory on Tuesday that puts them into the quarter-finals of the Olympic ice hockey tournament.

The win advances Slovakia to a last-eight game on Wednesday against Sweden, whose coach Mats Naslund viewed from the stands.

Norway's Ole Kristian Tollefsen decked Lubos Bartecko with a flying elbow that left the Slovak forward lying in a pool of blood from a cut on the back of his head six minutes into the opening period.

He was taken away on a stretcher.

The swarming Slovaks closed the period with a 3-1 lead on three powerplay goals but Norway evened the score 3-3 on a goal with one-tenth of a second left in the second period.

Miroslav Satan one-timed the game-winner past goalie Pal Grotnes just under nine minutes into the final period to seal victory in the hard-hitting contest.

Any hit to the face is a dirty hit, Slovak forward Pavol Demitra told reporters about the blatant rough play that earned Tollefsen a five-minute penalty and got him ejected.

Norway's Mats Zuccarello Aasen said the injury was inadvertent, worsened by the fact that Bartecko's helmet flew off before his head hit the ice.

The outcome of the hit was gruesome to watch, admitted the Norwegian. I feel sorry for Bartecko. But I feel sorry for Tollie (Tollefsen) too. He didn't mean for that to happen. It's hockey and hits come and go.

Satan said Slovakia was relieved to advance and wanted also to win it for Bartecko, who was in a stable condition.

Nobody likes to see that, especially in the Olympics, said Satan.

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