Moncton, note – Canada dug its own grave and never recovered. The Czech Republic capitalized on a five-minute power play to flash a red light twice in 33 seconds and beat the Maple Leafs 5-2 on Monday at the World Junior Hockey Championships.
“We wanted to put on a show,” said defender Brandt Clark, one of the three NHL players on loan to the Canadian national team. “Maybe we’ve taken it further from what we set out to do: be a team that isn’t afraid to get their noses dirty, a team that no one wants to play against.
“If you ask (the Czechs), we didn’t. They didn’t have much trouble getting the puck out of their area and they didn’t have much trouble controlling it in our area.”
Jaroslav Schmylar and Matos Mencic took advantage of the dismissal of striker Zack Dean – who was ruled out with a header – to give them a 5-2 lead in the second half over the reigning champions.
David Spasek, David Moravec and Stanislav Svozel also achieved the Czech mark (1-0-0).
“I have never experienced such sweet feelings,” Svozil said. “I don’t know how to explain it.”
Canada’s captain, Shane Wright, had a goal and an assist. Conor Bedard also scored for Canada (0-0-1).
“We’re all disappointed—disappointed with our efforts, disappointed with the outcome,” Wright admitted. We know we can do a lot better than that.”
“They played a little bit more intensity early on,” added Bedard, who was projected to be the first pick in the NHL Draft in June. “They outperformed us for a large part of the game.”
In the win, Tomas Suchanik made 36 saves.
Goalkeeper Benjamin Goudreau retired after conceding five goals on 17 shots. In relief, Tomas Milich blocked 10 shots.
Canada’s quest for a 20th gold medal After winning on home soil in Edmonton this summer, Canada suffered only their second defeat in 24 matches against the Czech Republic in the U-20 men’s competition since 1994. The only other defeat occurred in a penalty shootout in the preliminary round. 2013.
This is the first regular edition of the World Junior Hockey Championship since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021 the competition was played in a bubble, then in 2022 it was postponed for eight months due to positive cases.
The Canadians will take charge again on Wednesday as they cross paths with the Germans.
Switzerland is amazing
Attilio Biasca scored 41 seconds into overtime in Game 1 of the World Junior Hockey Championships to give Switzerland a 3-2 victory over Finland.
Biasca is part of the Halifax Mooseheads. This season he has eight goals and 27 points with them in 28 games.
Lorenzo Canonica and Jeremy Gabola also scored for Switzerland (1-0-0).
Jonas Teibel had 14 assists and Kevin Pashe blocked 14 shots.
Kunsta Kapanen and Kali Vaisanen battled while Aku Koscienfo made 24 saves.
During the last edition of the tournament, in August, the Finns (0-1-0) lost 3-2 in the final at the hands of Canada.
The Swedes and Americans made it back
In the second match of the day, Sweden beat Austria 11-0. Philip Pestedt and Isaac Rosen each scored two goals and an assist.
Sweden (1-0-0) outclassed 51-13. Leading 2-0 after the first period, the Scandinavians exploded with six goals in the second half.
Carl Lindbom made 13 saves and also had one assist.
Thomas Pfarmeier stopped 23 of 29 shots in 30:28 before it was ruled out in favor of Benedict O’Shegan, who allowed five goals on 22 shots for Austria (0-0-1).
Later, the great American team beat Latvia 5-2.
Luke Hughes, Red Savage, Chazz Lucius, Sean Berens and Jimmy Snuggerode scored on the US side (1-0).
Andriy Ravinskis and Niks Venko return for Latvia (0-0-1).
Both teams failed to score in the first period and were tied 2-2 going into the third period.
— With information from Joshua Clipperton of The Canadian Press
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