CANADA TOPS CZECHS TO WIN OLYMPIC BRONZE
JASON LA ROSE
GANGNEUNG, South Korea - Andrew Ebbett (Vernon, B.C./SC Bern, NLA) and Chris Kelly (Toronto, Ont./Belleville, AHL) scored two goals apiece, leading Canada's Men's Olympic Team to the bronze medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games with a 6-4 win over the Czech Republic on Saturday.
It is the 16th time Canada has medalled at the Olympics - nine gold (1920, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1948, 1952, 2002, 2010, 2014), four silver (1936, 1960, 1992, 1994) and three bronze (1956, 1968, 2018).
Rob Klinkhammer (Lethbridge, Alta./Ak Bars Kazan, KHL), Cody Goloubef (Oakville, Ont./Stockton, AHL) and Brandon Kozun (Calgary, Alta./Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, KHL) added two assists each for the Canadians, who got points from 11 different players and 30 saves from Kevin Poulin (Montreal, Que./EHC Kloten, NLA).
Ebbett struck first on the power play just shy of the nine-minute mark; a shot from Mat Robinson (Calgary, Alta./CSKA Moscow, KHL) hit a Czech stick and the skate of Ebbett before sneaking past goaltender Pavel Francouz.
The Czechs quickly answered when Martin Ruzicka beat Poulin, but Kelly tipped in a point shot from Goloubef to cap a three-goals-in-31-seconds spurt and restore the Canadian lead.
Derek Roy (Rockland, Ont./Linköping HC, SHL) made it a two-goal advantage before the end of the opening frame, tucking a backhand past Francouz after a pretty set-up from Kozun.
A scoreless second period gave way to a wild third, with the teams combining for six goals in the final 20 minutes.
Ebbett got it started with his second of the game at 5:50, redirecting a centering pass from Kozun, only for Jan Kovar to answer for the Czechs just 46 seconds later.
Kelly got his second at 9:37, going off the post and in from the slot, and after a Czech goal was waved off for goaltender interference, Wojtek Wolski (Toronto, Ont./Metallurg Magnitogorsk, KHL) batted in a rebound with 4:37 left to make it a 6-2 game.
Roman Cervenka scored a pair for the Europeans in the final four minutes to make it interesting, but the Canadians closed out the win to earn a medal for the third-consecutive Olympics.
Roy and Maxim Noreau (Montreal, Que./SC Bern, NLA) finished as Canada's leading scorers with two goals and five assists each. With the gold medal game remaining, Noreau tops all defenceman in scoring.