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[Mens Hockey] Hasek heads back to Ottawa


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Czech Republic's goalie Dominik Hasek reacts during the first period against Germany during a 2006 Winter Olympics men's ice hockey match Wednesday. Hasek was injured in the period and was replaced by backup Tomas Vokoun. (Eric Risberg/AP)

Hasek heads back to Ottawa

Canadian Press

Turin ? Czech Republic goalie Dominik Hasek of the Ottawa Senators is out of the Olympics because of an injury that happened minutes into his first game in Turin.

Hasek told Czech team officials Friday that he was heading back to Ottawa.

"Our medical staff decided that I'm not able to play. It's over," Hasek said. "I don't want to get hurt for the rest of the National Hockey League season."

The 41-year-old Hasek was the star of the 1998 Olympics ? the first to rely mostly on NHL players ? for the Czechs, beating Canada in a semifinal shootout and Russia in the gold-medal game.

Pavel Kolar, a physical therapist for the Czech team, said Thursday the six-time Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goalie had a tense muscle in his left leg ? an injury that happened in the first period of a 4-1 victory over Germany on Wednesday.

Hasek originally said it was a hamstring injury. But Czech backup goalie Tomas Vokoun later said Hasek told him it was a groin injury.

The Czech Republic also learned Thursday that New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias is heading back to North America after suffering bruised ribs. He'll be replaced by Ales Kotalik of the Buffalo Sabres.

Elias was a late replacement for New York Rangers rookie Petr Prucha, who pulled out because of a knee injury.

The Czech Republic plays again on Saturday against Finland (2-0). They'll conclude the round robin with a game against Canada (2-0) on Tuesday.

Hasek has a history of groin injuries. He is expected to return to Ottawa this weekend to begin treatment, and it is not known whether he will miss any NHL games once play resumes later this month.

Hasek's departure leaves Nashville Predators goalie Vokoun as the Czechs' top goalie for the rest of the tournament. The Czechs, the defending world champions, were beaten by Switzerland 3-2 on Thursday in a major upset and have a 1-1 record through two games of their five round-robin contests in group play.

"We just lost one game, we're not out of play," Hasek said. "We have so many good players. I think we've got the team to be successful."

Vokoun, seen as the top backup goalie in the Olympics, started in place of Hasek on Thursday and took the loss while making 16 saves.

The Czech Republic did not medal in Salt Lake City in 2002 after winning the gold four years earlier.

Hasek ? known as The Dominator ? was injured when he went into a split to stop a shot during a German power play about six minutes into Wednesday's game. The two-time NHL MVP didn't face another shot for the next few minutes, but left the game when play stopped 91/2 minutes into the period.

Afterward, he suggested the tight schedule that allowed some players to spend only one day in Turin before their first Olympic game, and the long flight from the United States, might have contributed to his injury.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/sto...Hockey2006/home

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Not much of a blow to the Czech team. Not as big a blow as going down to Switzerland!!! Anywyas, Vokoun is just as capable as Hasek imo. Czech is on solid ground between the pipes. Was Hasek in net vs the Swiss?

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Not much of a blow to the Czech team. Not as big a blow as going down to Switzerland!!! Anywyas, Vokoun is just as capable as Hasek imo. Czech is on solid ground between the pipes. Was Hasek in net vs the Swiss?

Hasek got injured in the first 6-7 minutes. So Vokoun got the loss.

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