A blowout win for the Canadians turned into an eventful game for Quebec Major Junior Hockey Leaguers. In the end, Team Canada won the World Junior Hockey Championship match against Team Czech Republic by score or 7-2 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo yesterday.
For the second straight game, Canada failed to score the opening goal. Antonin Honejsek opened the scoring just 49 seconds into the game, forcing fans across the twitterverse to send hate messages towards Acadie-Bathurst Titan goaltender Olivier Roy.
At 14:17, Halifax Mooseheads rookie import forward Martin Frk hauled down Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman Simon Despres in the neutral zone, giving Canada a power play chance. Brayden Schenn would score on the man advantage opportunity to tie the match at 1-1.
Then on another power play at 16:40, Jaden Schwartz scored to give the Canadians their first lead of the game going into the second period.
In the middle frame at 5:53, Windsor Spitfire Zack Kassian leveled Czech defenseman Petr Senkerik in open ice. Kassian was tossed from the game and given a five minute major while Senkerik was carted off the ice on a stretcher.
On the power play for the Czechs, Roy made an unreal pad stop in the crease area. Play then went up ice with Montreal Juniors forward Louis Leblnac avenging the penalty with a shorthanded marker to make it 3-1 Canada. With the penalty over, Ryan Ellis and Cody Eakin scored later in the period to make it 5-1 Canada after 40 minutes.
Frk lost his mind at 5:49 of the third, spearing Despres’ defense partner Erik Gudbranson in an area that should never be speared. Frk was tossed was given a game misconduct and five-minute major.
“I’ll give you two guesses,” said Gudbranson to the Montreal Gazette when asked where Frk speared him. “And the first one doesn’t count.”
At 9:36, Tyson Barrie scored on a two-man advantage to give Canada a 6-1 lead before Jared Cowen scored 23 seconds later to give the favourites a six-goal advantage. The Czechs would score one more at 15:26 to make it a 7-2 final.
Roy made 17 saves in the win for the Canadians while Filip Novotny allowed seven goals on 39 shots.
It was a good game for Despres, helping to draw the Frk penalty that resulted in a Canadian goal. He finished the match with two shots and a +1 rating.
JURCO SCORES IN LOSS TO AMERICANS
In a 6-1 loss to the United States last night at HSBC Arena, Team Slovakia’s only goal came off the stick of Saint John Sea Dogs forward Tomas Jurco in the second period.
From the Buffalo News live blog of the game:
The Slovaks get a rise from the crowd and allow the Canadians to start mocking U.S. goalie Jack Campbell as Tomas Jurco scores with 7:34 left to make it 4-1.Playing on the third line, Jurco had a goal, four shots, and a +1 rating. A friend of SN who was in attendance said the Slovak wasn’t getting great amounts of ice time.
Here are the highlights. Jurco’s goal comes at 3:12:
Jurco also turned 18-years old yesterday.
After Slovakia’s 2-1 overtime win against Germany, Tomas Jurco was interviewed by the New England Hockey Journal.
“It was a pretty hard game and we’re really happy we stayed focused till the end,” he said about the win. “Our goalie was awesome; he had a few great saves and we really appreciate it. He’s a really good guy and goalie so it’s even better for us.”
He was also asked about Saint John’s season.
“I think things are really good; we’re on a winning streak,” he said. “I hope we are going to continue out there and I hope we’re going to win the league and get to the (Memorial) Cup.”
LOCAL NEWS VIDEO OF THE DAY
Our local news video of the day today is about the rising cost of parking at the world juniors.
Tonight, Canada takes on what should be their easiest opponent of the tournament in the Norwegians. Game time is 8:30 pm AST with the TSN pre-game show beginning at 8:00 pm.
Canada’s power play has been sensational in the tournament, scoring on seven of 11 opportunities. Meanwhile, Norway’s penalty kill has yet to allow a goal in seven chances.
Mark Visentin is expected to get his first start of the tournament tonight, replacing Olivier Roy in net. Zack Kassian is suspended for tonight’s game after receiving a five minute major and game misconduct yesterday. Calvin de Haan is questionable with a lower body injury while Jaden Schwartz was seen limping off the bench yesterday.
In other action today, Finland faces Germany.