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Czechs take world ice hockey title

VIENNA, Austria -- The Czech Republic won the world ice hockey championship in Vienna on Sunday as Martin Rucinsky and Jaromir Jagr inspired a 3-0 shutout of Canada.

The win handed the Czechs their fifth title in 10 years and broke Canada's bid to win a third consecutive world crown.

New York Ranger Jagr was instrumental in their early opener.

The Canadians had hoped to keep a close eye on him, but got caught on a line change early in the first period and gave him some open ice.

Jagr, playing with a broken finger, made them pay dearly, taking the puck deep into Canadian territory before firing a cross-ice pass to Martin Rucinsky.

Rucinsky's shot hit the post, but Vaclav Prospal banged home the rebound at 4:13.

Czech coach Vladimir Ruzicka double shifted Jagr most of the night to keep him away from Canada's checking line of Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby and Shane Doan.

But Canada made the mistake again in the third period, and Jagr fed Rucinsky who blasted a low shot that Martin Brodeur should have stopped.

Josef Vasicek added an empty net goal at 19:07 of the third period.

The Czech defense gave the Canadian offense little room to shine. Canada outshot the Czechs 29-27 but most of those were from far out, while the line of Joe Thornton, Simon Gagne and Rick Nash, who had 18 goals in eight games, was not a factor and rarely tested Czech goalie Tomas Vokoun.

The Czechs, who were cheered on by a strong contingent of fans including their president, Vaclav Klaus, and Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, now have 11 titles, counting those from the former Czechoslovakia.

Earlier on Sunday, Russia beat Sweden 6-3 to win the bronze medal.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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