Slovakia won the gold medal for the first time in its history at the Indoor Hockey World Championships in Zvolen by defeating the Canadian team 3 to 2 on penalty shots after overtime. Over three thousand fans watched the Slovak team overcome the North Americans despite playing the match without two of its NHL stars, Richard Zedník and Jozef Štumpel, both of whom were injured. The star of the game for Slovakia was Pavol Demitra of the NHL's St. Louis Blues, who scored one regulation goal and added another in the overtime shoot-out.
Slovak hockeyball team captain Babák (right) celebrates with teammate Tóth after defeating Canada 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out to take the gold.
Sometimes called 'hockey-ball' or 'street hockey,' the game is played on regulation ice rinks minus the ice, and instead of a puck a small rubber ball is used. The game enjoys great popularity in central Europe and Canada, and follows rules similar to ice hockey.