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Day One: Czechs Beat USA, Canada Defeats Switzerland

By on August 11, 2014 in Ivan Hlinka Memorial with 0 Comments

By Radoslav Vavřina, Lead Writer, The Czech List

BŘECLAV, CZE – Day one of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament is over and it’s been quite an opener with the last game capping things off with true roughness and effort all over the ice. While the Czechs would emerge as winners over Americans, the other North American hegemon wouldn’t be denied three points following a 5-1 defeat of Switzerland.

The Canada-Switzerland actually opened the whole tournament, starting at 2 PM local time in Piešťany, Slovakia. Dylan Strome would give his team an early lead just eight minutes in and he and his teammates would eventually make it 4-0, a huge lead just midway through the second. Around that time, the Swiss scored their only goal when Dominik Schmid made it 4-1.

Mitchell Stephens would add another one early in the third to make 5-1 the final score and while his teammate Mathew Barzal collected a goal and an assist in the game, Mitchell Vande Sompel was named the player of the game alongside Swiss netminder Joren Van Pottelberghe.


As supposed, the Czech Republic-US game was the pinnacle of the opening day and as a crowd of 1,200 led their loved national team to take revenge for Americans eliminating the Czechs from both Ivan Hlinka and Under-18 World Juniors last year, a true battle was taking place on the ice.

Brock Boeser would be the only one to score a goal in the first, but then the undisciplined Americans collected 37 penalty minutes (including top D Zach Wilkie‘s game misconduct) in the second period and allowed 3 powerplay goals, two of those by future QMJHLers Jakub Zbořil of Saint John and Filip Chlapík of Charlottetown, and one by Lukáš Jašek.

Robert Jackson would capitalize on a penalty shot early into the third so a brand-new battle was about to be fought and the Americans would have probably gotten it done had it not been for great performance by Czech goalie Daniel Vladař and the defensive corps around him. Jašek would get close to scoring another one late in the frame, but Doug Blaisdell managed to keep his team alive by shoving the puck away from the goal line.

However, Jašek would get to celebrate just couple minutes later, finding the empty American net with eight seconds left on the clock. That sealed the deal and the final 4-2 score that means a lot to the victorious team and can so much motivate the other for a better outing another day.


 

Even before that, Finland managed to take revenge on Russia for de facto eliminating them from last year’s Ivan Hlinka by beating them 5-2. On the other side of the border, Slovakia failed to defend their home arena against the Swedes, 6-1 the final score.

Photo courtesy of Juniorský hokej CZ/SK

 

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