One win away from gold for Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship

EDMONTON | The Czechs offered better opposition to Canada than in the first meeting between the two teams, in the preliminary round, but the result was not much different. Junior Team Canada won 5-2 to secure their place in the Grand Final tonight against Finland.

• Read also: World Junior Championship: The domino effect caused by Ridly Greig

It wasn’t outright dominance, with Canada outshooting 57-23 to win 5-1, but ECJ was never really threatened by the Czechs, despite a push of two quick goals at the end of the third period which reduced the deficit to 4-2.

“We had some ups and downs but at the end of the day we had a good game overall. Honestly, you have to give them credit. They played well defensively and they were playing the right way. We played well as a team and to go for the gold, we will have to play even better,” noted Nathan Gaucher, who got an assist in the victory on a goal from his new line partner, Connor Bedard.

A DOMINANT TRIO

As was the case against Switzerland, the trio of Kent Johnson, Logan Stankoven and Tyson Foerster was the best on the Canadian side. Stankoven again created several scoring chances with his speed and fighting spirit, finishing with a goal and an assist, while Kent Johnson had probably his best encounter of the tournament, with a goal and two assists.

“His patience and his confidence with the puck make him dangerous. You know that when he has the puck, he’s going to do something with it. He has the skills of an NHL player and he showed it tonight,” added Nathan Gaucher on Friday.


Nathan Gaucher had a lot to say to a player from the Czech Republic.

Photo QMI Agency, John Morris

Nathan Gaucher had a lot to say to a player from the Czech Republic.

Johnson’s line is the only one since the start of the competition that has remained intact, despite the injury to Ridly Greig which forced the coaching staff to reshuffle almost the entire offensive lineup.

“We’re two little players who like to move the puck and make plays,” Stankoven said of his chemistry with Johnson. Obviously, Foerster is there too and he too is capable of making very good plays. It takes three to make it work and so far it’s been a pleasure to play with these two guys. »

Beyond the points, Johnson was a threat throughout, showing the individual skills that convinced the Columbus Blue Jackets to select him fifth overall in the 2021 draft.

“It’s been one of my good games of the tournament so far,” he admitted. I think our trio clicks more and more with each game. Foerster’s pass that allowed me to escape was unreal. We see each other really well on the ice. »

In addition to Stankoven, Johnson and Bedard, Mason McTavish and Joshua Roy scored for the Canadians, while Jan Mysak and David Jiricek provided the Czechs’ reply. In McTavish’s case, his goal was his eighth of the competition. With one game to play, he ranks fifth in CJS history for most goals in a single tournament.


Captain Mason McTavish receives congratulations after making it 4-0.

Photo Reuters

Captain Mason McTavish receives congratulations after making it 4-0.

NEAR THE GOAL

ECJ is now only one victory away from its ultimate goal. Dave Cameron’s men will take part in the final, Saturday evening at 8 p.m., against the Finns, who defeated the Swedes by a score of 1 to 0 on Friday evening. This will be the second game between the two teams, the first having been won 6-3 by Canada in the preliminary round.

“We are lucky to achieve our goal,” Cameron said. As a coach, your greatest pleasure is to see the efforts of your team and your staff lead to something. We are very excited about the challenge ahead of us. We know it’s going to be a battle,” said head coach Dave Cameron.

As for the Czechs, they will play the match for bronze against Sweden at 4 p.m.

“I think it’s very important to win the bronze for us, mentioned the captain of the Czech Republic, Jan Mysak. In my country, any medal means success. We want a medal, that’s all. »

Separately, Cameron confirmed after Friday’s game that Ridly Greig’s tournament was over. In his absence, Canadian prospect Riley Kidney was reinserted into the lineup, but he only made one appearance in the game, midway through the third period.

First period

1-CAN: Kent Johnson (2)(Stankoven, Foerster) 10:04
2-CAN: Connor Bedard (4)(Left-handed, Cuylle) 15:20

Penalties: None

Second period

3-CAN: Logan Stankoven (4)(Johnson, Zellweger) AN-11:28
4-CAN: Mason McTavish (8)(Johnson, Zellweger) AN-16:11

Penalties: Bench penalty (Tch) (served by Urban) 10:11, Bench penalty (Can) (served by Roy) 12:11, Nemec (Tch) 15:00

Third period

5-TCH: Jan Mysak (5) (Kulich, Svozil) 10:54
6-TCH: Michal Gut (2) (Jiricek, Kulich) AN-12:44
7-CAN: Joshua Roy (2) (Zellweger, Dufour) 14:26

Penalties: Nemec (Tch) 7:15, ORourke (Can) 12:32

Shoot to the net

CANADA 15 – 11 – 9 – 35 CZECHIA 8 – 16 – 8 – 32

Guardians:

CAN: Dylan Garand (G, 5-0) TCH: Tomas Suchanek (P, 1-2), Pavel Cajan (at the start of the 3rd period)

Numerical advantages:

CAN: 2 in 3, TCH: 1 in 3

Referees:

Sean Fernandez, Christoffer Holm

Linesmen:

Kevin Briganti, John Rey

ASSISTANCE:

5092

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