Canada 6 - Czech Republic 2
BRENDAN GAUNCE SCORES TWICE IN CANADA'S 6-2 VICTORY OVER THE CZECH REPUBLIC
BRNO, Czech Republic - The challenge was issued. And Canada responded with an emotional 6-2 victory over host Czech Republic at the world under-18 hockey championship.
Brendan Gaunce led the way offensively with two goals and an assist as Canada bounced back from a 4-2 loss to Finland.
"It was a much better effort and much better game,'' said Canadian coach Jesse Wallin. "The guys were challenged. Our last game against Finland was nowhere near the way we need to play and we really went after the boys hard to buy in. It was a make-or-break game, it was a must-win, it was a Game 7. They had to step up and rise to the occasion.''
Scott Laughton, Sam Reinhart, Matthew Dumba and Kerby Rychel also scored while Matt Murray made 23 saves for Canada (2-1), which is assured of at least a spot it in the quarter-finals.
Jakub Houfek and Dominik Volek replied for the Czechs (1-2), who got 35 saves from Patrik Polivka.
Wallin was particularly pleased with the Canadian team's improved forecheck, which helped it build a 4-1 lead in the first period. Volek scored in the second period to narrow that advantage but the Canadians remained composed.
"I thought our team really showed a great deal of resilience in the second period, they continued to stay with it and we were able to take
The next challenge will be the toughest yet.
The Americans are the three-time defending champions at the event and have outscored their opposition 13-0 while winning their first three
"They're a team that's been together for two years,'' said Wallin.
"They're a very good hockey team. They're very organized and very structured, they've been together as a group so they know one another.
But after watching the improved effort against the Czechs, the Canadian coach was feeling better about his team's chances.
"Our team got better today,'' said Wallin. "Tomorrow's going to be a new challenge, it's going to be another big game. But we feel a lot more prepared for it now after the effort we had tonight.''
|Arena||Kajot Arena||City, Country||Brno, CZE|
|Month / Day / Year||04/16/2012||Time||10:00 AM ET|
|Czech Republic (CZE)||1||1||0||2|
09:26 CAN 10 Brendan Gaunce (18 Gemel Smith, 23 Sam Reinhart)
12:12 CZE 6 Jakub Houfek (12 Pavel Sedlacek)
12:41 CAN 10 Brendan Gaunce (23 Sam Reinhart)
13:26 CAN 21 Scott Laughton (12 Kerby Rychel, 24 Mathew Dumba)
16:23 CAN 23 Sam Reinhart (12 Kerby Rychel) PP
05:46 CZE 19 Dominik Volek (11 Patrik Machac, 4 Petr Sidlik)
04:47 CAN 24 Mathew Dumba (3 Ryan Pulock) PP
10:36 CAN 12 Kerby Rychel (10 Brendan Gaunce)
|Shots on Goal||1||2||3||Total|
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Brad Pascall Vice-President, Hockey Operations