Czechoslovak hockey great Josef Augusta dies at 70

February 16, 2017
FILE - In this April 29, 2001 file photo Czech head coach Josef Augusta reacts during the first period of the group A match of the hockey world championships Czech Republic vs. Germany in Cologne, western Germany. Augusta, a top left winger for Czechoslovakia who contributed as coach to three world titles for his country has died. He was 70. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz, file)

PRAGUE (AP) — Josef Augusta, a left winger for Czechoslovakia who later helped coach his country to three world hockey titles, has died. He was 70.

The Czech hockey federation said Augusta died Thursday after a long, serious illness.

In his 100 games, Augusta scored 24 goals and helped Czechoslovakia win the silver medal at the 1976 Olympics in Innsbruck. The Czech team won the same medal at the 1974, ’75 and ’78 world championships.

At the inaugural edition of the Canada Cup in 1976, Augusta had an assist on the decisive goal by Milan Novy in a surprising 1-0 victory over Canada. The Czechs finished second in the tournament.

As coach with the national team, he assisted Ivan Hlinka when the Czechs won the 1999 world title. He then won the tournament as head coach the following two years.

“Above all, we’re losing a great guy and a friend,” federation head Tomas Kral said.

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