TRURO, N.S. – The World Junior A Hockey Challenge got underway Sunday with the Czech Republic skating to a 5-2 victory over Canada West at the Rath-Eastlink Community Centre.
The Czechs led 2-0 after the opening frame and 4-1 after the second.
With Canada’s Reise Gaber off for tripping, the Czechs capitalized as Lukas Rousek scored. Then David Kofroñ beat Canadian netminder Mitch Adamyk to make it 2-0.
In the second, Canada West’s Ethan de Jong scored at 1:26 to close the margin to one goal but the Czech Republic continued to make the most of their chances. Tomas Havranek found the mark midway through the period and then Jachym Kondelik scored the Czechs’ second power play marker of the game making it 4-1, and leading Canada to lift Adamyk in favour of Zach Rose.
Canada West got something going in the third when Jonny Tychonick scored a gorgeous goal on an end-to-end rush to close the gap to 4-2. However, an empty-netter by Kofroñ put it away and sealed the 5-2 Czech Republic win.
Between them, Adamyk and Rose faced 26 shots while Czech goalie Milan Kloucek earned the win, turning aside 24 of 26 shots that came his way.
Russia 5 Canada East 1
Alexander Romanov and Ivan Morozov each netted two goals for Russia, which held period leads of 2-0 and 4-1. Grigory Denisenko had the other goal for the winners, who scored twice on the power play and once shorthanded.
“Tonight, if we don’t count the empty-net goal, we gave them three goals with two turnovers and one bad positioning,” said Canada East head coach Patrice Bosch. “I thought we had a close game, I thought we played a great game, we just didn’t score goals when we had the chance. We had the power plays, five-on-five scoring chances, we just didn’t score.”
Nick Campoli had the lone Canada East marker, when his shot from in close hit a stick and beat goaltender Amir Miftakhof over the shoulder.
Canada East goaltender Jett Alexander made 27 saves, while his teammates fired 28 shots at Miftakhof.
Monday’s action has Czech Republic facing the United States at 3:30 p.m. and Canada East taking on Switzerland in the 7:30 p.m. matchup.