Game Summary
Czech Republic 3 - Canada 4 (OT)
 

CANADA ESCAPES WITH OT WIN OVER CZECH REPUBLIC AT WORLD UNDER-18 CHAMPIONSHIP



FARGO, N.D. – Canada faced its stiffest test Monday at the world under-18 hockey championship – and needed some late-game heroics to pull out the win.

Brett Connolly of the WHL's Prince George Cougars scored 1:23 into overtime as the Canadians remained unbeaten with a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Czech Republic. The victory earns Canada a berth in the playoff round, and keeps alive their hopes of a first-round bye.

After erasing a 3-0 deficit with a dominant third period, Canada kept the pressure on in overtime.

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It paid off, after Byron Froese carried the puck into the Czech zone and fired a shot that was stopped by Czech netminder Filip Novotny.

Simon Déspres of the QMJHL's Saint John Sea Dogs scooped the rebound into Novotny, who lost the puck in his equipment. Connolly found the loose puck and chipped it over a prone Novotny to complete the spirited comeback.

Canadian head coach Mike Johnston said he expected a serious challenge from the Czechs.

“We knew coming in the Czechs were desperate,” said Johnston, the head coach of the WHL's Portland Winter Hawks. “They played well ... they had good legs, good skating, and they played a very solid game all-around.

“Early on we weren't sharp. Our puck movement wasn't good, and we didn't have our legs.”

Johnston said this game was by far the toughest Canada (3-0) has played so far.

“For sure,” said Johnston. “We had a really tough exhibition game against Finland, but that was early on.”

By earning just two points for the overtime win rather than three points for a regulation victory, Canada trails Sweden (3-0) by a single point atop the Pool A standings. The two teams face off Tuesday, with the winner earning a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

The losing team will face the third-place finisher in Pool B in a quarter-final on Thursday.

Trailing 3-0 entering the third period, Canada erupted for three goals and could have had a fourth. John McFarland of the OHL's Sudbury Wolves trimmed the lead at 2:06 of the third, and Ryan O'Reilly of the OHL's Erie Otters made it 3-2 just 10 seconds later.

Novotny was handed a delay of game penalty at 5:04, and the Canadians completed the comeback just four seconds later on a goal by Kingston Frontenacs blue-liner Eric Gudbranson.

Canada thought it had taken the lead at the eight-minute mark after Novotny gloved a shot dangerously close to the goal-line. Officials ruled the puck didn't cross the line, and the score remained tied.

Novotny single-handedly kept the Czechs alive, stopping 20 shots in the third period and 47 in the game. Despite the bloated saves total, Johnston was really only impressed with Novotny's third-period effort.

“I was disappointed in the lack of quality shots we were getting early,” said Johnston. “He was outstanding in the third period, but other than that, I thought we should have done more against him.”

Needing a win to keep their second-place chances alive, the Czechs seized the upper hand at 15:35 of the first period on a goal by Antonin Honejsek. They extended their lead at 12:27 of the second period, with Michal Poletin beating Canada netminder Michael Zador. Roman Horak made it 3-0 just over four minutes later.

The other Pool A game saw the Swedes crush Switzerland 11-0 at Moorhead, Minn.

In Pool B action Monday night, Finland (1-1) faced Norway (0-3) and the U.S. (2-0) battled Slovakia (1-1).

Game Information/Reseignements sur le match
Event/Événement 2009 World U-18 Champ. Location/Emplacement Fargo, ND
Date Mon. Apr. 13, 2009 Arena/Aréna Urban Plains Center
Time/Heure 16:00 CEN Attendance/Assistance -,---
Round/Ronde Preliminary Game # 14

 

Box Score/Compte 1 2 3 OT Final
CZE 1 2 0 0 3
CAN 0 0 3 1 4

 

Goals/Penalties
First Period/Première période

Goals/Buts:
15:35 CZE Antonin Honejsek (Michal Poletin)

Penalties/Punitions:
02:17 CAN Curtis Hamilton (Slashing/Coup de bâton)
06:41 CAN Kyle Clifford (Tripping/Faire trébucher)
10:20 CAN Ethan Werek (Interference/Obstruction)
15:59 CZE Jakub Jerabek (Checking to the Head/Mise en échec à la tête)
15:59 CZE Jakub Jerabek (Misconduct/Inconduite)

Second Period/Deuxième période

Goals/Buts:
12:27 CZE Michal Poletin (Antonin Honejsek, Robin Soudek)
16:44 CZE Roman Horak (Daniel Krejci)

Penalties/Punitions:
19:00 CZE Adam Polasek (Tripping/Faire trébucher)
20:00 CZE Radim Herman (Checking to the Head/Mise en échec à la tête)
20:00 CZE Radim Herman (Misconduct/Inconduite)

Third Period/Troisième période

Goals/Buts:
02:06 CAN John McFarland (Byron Froese)
02:16 CAN Ryan O’Reilly (Peter Holland, Erik Gudbranson)
05:08 CAN Erik Gudbranson (Brett Connolly) PP

Penalties/Punitions:
05:04 CZE Filip Novotny (Delay of Game/Retarder le match)
05:40 CAN Dylan Olsen (Interference/Obstruction)
05:40 CAN Dylan Olsen (Misconduct/Inconduite)
09:55 CZE Oldrich Horak (Cross-checking/Double-échec)

Overtime – Prolongation

Goals/Buts:
01:23 CAN Brett Connolly (Simon Déspres, Byron Froese)

Penalties/Punitions:
NONE / AUCUN

 

Goaltenders CZE Filip Novotny
Gardiens de but CAN Michael Zador

Shots on Goal Team 1 p 2 p 3 p Ttl
Shots on Goal CZE 10 19 4 33
Tirs au but CAN 11 13 23 51

Referee/Arbitre Aleksi Rantala (FIN), Alexei Ravodin (RUS)
Linesmen/Juges des lignes Paul Carnathan (USA), Shinichi Takizawa (JPN)

 

For more information:
Brad Pascall Vice-President, Hockey Operations