February 17, 2018 / 6:09 AM / 6 months ago

Olympics-Ice Hockey-Czechs prevail in shootout against Canada

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb 17 (Reuters) - The Czech Republic beat Canada 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday in a back-and-forth preliminary game in the men's Olympic ice hockey tournament.

Petr Koukal and Jan Kovar both scored in the shootout, topping Canada's lone goal.

Canada drew first blood on the powerplay early in the first period. With the Czechs' Dominik Kubalik off for slashing, Linden Vey drifted in from the point and snapped the puck toward Mason Raymond, who redirected it inside the far post and past Czech goaltender Pavel Francouz.

Kubalik redeemed himself a few minutes later, capitalising on a broken clear attempt by the Canadians. Defenseman Chris Lee fanned on a bouncing puck to the right of the Canadian net, and Kubalik grabbed it and squeezed it between goalie Ben Scrivens and the post, knotting the game at 1-1.

The Canadians went back on top later in the period, again on the powerplay. Rene Bourque, who played 12 seasons in the NHL, tapped in a rebound on a shot from the point by Maxim Noreau with one second remaining on a holding penalty to Jakub Nakladal.

The Czechs fought back again, levelling again inside the first minute of the second period. Scrivens stopped a pair of shots from Roman Horak and Michal Birner, but couldn't contain the rebounds, and former Carolina Hurricane Michal Jordan snatched the loose puck and went top shelf.

Canada continued to outshoot the Czechs but could not finish, squandering a two-man advantage late in the period.

After a scoreless third period and five-minute overtime, it went to the shootout. (Reporting By Dan Burns; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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