LESCHYSHYN GETS SHOOTOUT WINNER AS CANADA BLACK EDGES CZECHS
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – It took six rounds and 12 shooters, but Jake Leschyshyn (Grasswood, Sask./Regina, WHL) was the shootout hero, scoring the winner for Canada Black as it earned a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Czech Republic on Monday night at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Leschyshyn outwaited Czech goaltender Tomas Vomacka and went five-hole before Canadian netminder Alex D’Orio (Sherbrooke, Que./Magog, LHMAAAQ) stopped Filip Zadina to clinch the victory.
In a match-up of 0-1 teams it was the Czechs who took the early lead; Daniel Bukac opened the scoring at 8:45 when his point shot made its way through traffic and past D’Orio, and Jachym Kondelik found Jakub Galvis just 19 seconds later for a 2-0 Czech lead.
The Canadian offence was almost non-existant in the first period, managing just two shots on goal, but Michael Rasmussen (South Surrey, B.C./Tri-City, WHL) made one of them count, driving to the net and redirecting a shot from Joseph Veleno (Kirkland, Que./Saint John, QMJHL) up and over Vomacka at 16:38.
Neither team generated much in the way of scoring opportunities in the second period – shots were just 6-6 in the middle frame – but each team found the back of the net once.
Black tied the game when Leschyshyn picked up a loose puck at the blue-line, broke in by himself and fired a quick wrist shot that just went over Vomacka’s glove at 13:32.
But Zadina wasted no time and answered right back just over a minute later, picking up his own rebound off a block by Hayden Davis (Hamilton, Ont./Niagara, OHL) and snapping it home.
With time running out, Jocktan Chainey (Asbestos, Que./Shawinigan, QMJHL) tied the game for Black at 16:05 of the third period when he walked the puck in from the point and snapped a low wrist shot past Vomacka.
After a four-on-four overtime failed to produce a winner, the Czechs took the early lead in the shootout when Martin Necas beat D’Orio in Round 2. Martin Kaut missed his opportunity to end the game one round later, and Arnaud Durandeau (Beaconsfield, Que./Halifax, QMJHL) kept Black alive on its final chance.
Two more rounds went goalless before Leschyshyn’s winner and D’Orio’s game-ending stop.
Both teams wrap up preliminary round play Tuesday; the Czechs face Canada White in the matinee (2:30 p.m. MT), followed by Canada Black taking on the United States (7 p.m. MT).