FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Czech Republic stunned the Russians 4-3 in Thursday’s afternoon quarterfinals at the North Peace Arena.
The Russians opened the scoring at 10:37 of the first period after Artemii Kniazev found the back of the net for the 1-0 goal. Oleg Zaitsev had the assist. The Czechs tied it the score at 1-1 less than four minutes later after Ondrej Psenicka found twine after being set up by Marcel Barinka. The visitors took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
The Czechs took the lead courtesy a goal by Matej Toman after taking a slick pass from Michal Teply at 10:54 of the second stanza. Not even three minutes later Toman found the net for his second of the period to put his team up 3-1. Filip Prikryl had the lone assist on the play. The Czechs skated into the second-period break with a 3-1 advantage.
Daniil Gutik got one back for the Russian’s to make it 3-2, 4:18 into the final period after taking a pass from Matvey Guskov and sneaking the puck past the Czech netminder. Jaromir Pytlik restored the two-goal lead at 4-2 for the Czech Republic just under eight minutes later.
Matej Morong collected the only helper on the goal. Danil Gushchin made things interesting with the 4-3 goal at 17:30 after firing it past the Czech goaltender after collecting a nifty feed Artemii Kniazev. However, the Czech held on the upset as they advance to the semifinals.
Nick Malik of the Czech Republic made 36 of 39 saves.
In Dawson Creek, the United States beat the Swedes 5-1. The American’s and Sweden headed into the locker room tied at 1-1. The States used a late goal in the second period courtesy Jack Hughes to put themselves up for good as they added three more goals in the final period.
The United States and the Czech Republic now wait for their opponents for tomorrow’s semifinals as they winners from tonight’s games will join them.