DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Czech Republic edged Canada White 2-1 in the afternoon game at the Encana Event Centre to win the bronze medal at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Czechs opened the scoring courtesy Majet Toman’s goal 9:19 into the first period. Adam Najman and Radek Kucerik were the setup duo. The Czech’s limited the Canadian chances in the first frame and skated into the locker rooms with a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
The Czechs made it 2-0 after Michal Teply scored on a wrist shot from the slot that beat the Canadian netminder, on a great individual effort. After forty minutes of play, the Canadian’s were still looking for their first goal as the visitors led 2-0.
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At 16:57 of the final period Graeme Clarke found twine on the powerplay to cut the lead in half to 2-1. Jake Lee had the lone assists on the goal. Canada White applied the pressure but the Czechs didn’t break and skated away with a 2-1 victory and the bronze medal.
The Czech Republic forward Martin Lang said, “I’m so happy right now for my team. We played a tough team today and have a bronze medal. We got better as the tournament went on.”
The Czech Republic head coach Petr Haken added, “We didn’t get phased after they scored their goal late in the third. We remained calm and ultimately earned the bronze medal. I am so happy and proud of our we played and how our coaches, coached.”
Canada White captain Brayden Schneider added, “It was a tough loss. They played a great game defensively and we couldn’t find the tying goal. Having said that I am proud of our group and the experience we can take from this past week.”
Goaltender Taylor Gauthier made 21 of 23 saves, while Nick Malik for the Czechs stopped 29 of 30 shots that he faced.