U.S. OUTLASTS CZECHS IN OT, WIN WJAC BRONZE
JASON LA ROSE
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Trevor Kuntar provided the heroics 2:14 into overtime, giving the United States a thrilling 2-1 win over the Czech Republic in the bronze medal game Sunday afternoon at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge.
The bronze makes it 13 medals in as many tries for the Americans; they have won eight gold (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018), one silver (2017) and four bronze (2007, 2011, 2015, 2019) since 2007.
Sean Farrell had the other goal for the U.S., which got 37 saves from Ethan Haider.
Just seconds after Haider robbed Filip Prikryl with a glove stop at the side of the net, Michael Koster found Kuntar through the middle of the ice and he split the Czech defence before going five-hole on Jakub Dobes.
The Americans looked set to win it in regulation, but Daniel Poizl’s last-gasp shot from the point hit the glove of Koster and eluded Haider with 4.2 seconds to go to force extra time.
Each team controlled the play for a period through a scoreless opening 40 minutes.
The Americans held a 14-5 advantage in the first period before the Czechs had a 12-5 edge in the second as Haider and Dobes went save-for-save, including multiple stops on a combined six power plays.
Farrell finally broke through just past the five-minute mark of the third, swatting the rebound of a Christian Berger shot past Dobes and providing all the offence until Poizl tied it very late.
Dobes was terrific in the Czech goal despite the loss, making 29 saves.