Czechs eliminate Canada East, advance to semifinals

Czechs eliminate Canada East, advance to semifinals

Steven Ellis15 Dec 2018Steven Ellis»
 

The Czech Republic will play for a medal after beating Canada East 4-2 in the final round-robin game at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge.

 
 
 
 

The Czech Republic will play for a medal after beating Canada East 4-2 in the final round-robin game at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge.

With the win, the Czech Republic will play against Russia tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 PM MT for a chance to make it to the finals. Canada East’s tournament will end without a victory in four games, with their tournament plagued with defensive issues and goaltending inconsistencies.

Canada needed an early goal to give them some form of an advantage right off the bat. Just 48 seconds into the game, Oakville Blades star Spencer Kersten would open up the scoring after stealing the disk off of a defenceman near the boards before taking a wrist shot from the high slot, beating Daniel Dvorak on the first real chance of the game.

But the lead wouldn’t last for long. At 3:32, Vojtek Strondala, the shootout hero for the Czechs on Thursday against Canada West, would send a pass out to Zdenek Sedlak on the rush. Sedlak took advantage of a slow defensive effort from Tyler McBay and Simon Mack by rushing in on a breakaway, beating Liam Soulière to make it 1-1.

The Czechs found themselves with an advantage halfway through the game. Zack Malik would make an incredible play to stop the puck from crossing over the blue line by batting it out of the air, keeping it in play in the process. He then would fire it towards the net, and after a mini-scramble in front, Sedlak would pot his second of the night by just pushing it past Soulière.

Canada desperately needed a goal late in the game to keep their semifinal hopes alive, and who better to score than their captain, Cade Townend. Kersten wouldn’t get an assist on the play, but Canada’s first goal-scorer would do a tremendous job of fighting along the boards to get the puck out to Derek Dicaire, who then found Townend at the point. Townend would send a quick wrist shot up high, beating Dvorak to tie the game up.

With a chance to advance on the line, the Canadians pulled their goalie with over a minute to go. It didn’t work in their favour, as just two seconds after Liam Soulière got off the ice, Sedlak completed the hat-trick. Matej Blumel would ice one more goal before the end of the game, completing the 4-2 victory to advance.

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