We are on our way in the 2020 World Junior Hockey Championship. Starting us off on Boxing Day; Russia against the home team from the Czech Republic. This immediately meant a duel between two of the tournament’s top goalie prospects; Yaroslav Askarov and Lukas Dostal.
The hosts, backed by a frenetic audience in Ostrava, got off to a hot start when they scored on the first power play of the game a little more than two minutes in. Simon Kubicek, usually playing in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds and an eligible for next year’s draft, shot from the blue line and surprised Askarov with his quick release.
Minutes later the crowd had another reason to celebrate as Jan Mysak, another 2020 draft prospect, made it 2-0 for the Czechs.
The home team’s impressive start was surprising considering they were already without one of their top players, forward Jakub Lauko, who was helped to the locker room early with a leg injury after being on the receiving end of an unfortunate mid-ice hit.
Things looked bleak for the heavily favoured Russian team. However, they would manage to claw their way back and tie the contest thanks to penalties to their opponents. Even if none of the goals came on the power play, both of them were results of a heavy two-minute domination ending with the puck in the net seconds after the teams became equal in strength again.
First, Anton Khovanov and captain Grigori Denisenko assisted defender Yegor Zamula, who waited in the right shooting lane and took advantage of heavy traffic in front of Dostal. Minutes later, another long offensive sequence ended with Vancouver Canucks first-round pick Vasili Podkolzin finding the puck in the crease with no chance for the Czech netminder to react. This goal also meant the first point of the tournament for last year’s top defenceman, Montreal Canadiens prospect Alexander Romanov, who was attributed with the second assist.
It was an aggressive and fast-paced first period, where seven players received minor penalties and Russia dominated the shots, outshooting their opponents 18-5, with just one of the home team’s shots registered during the last 12 minutes of play.
Russia was working on taking the lead, but Matej Blümel surprised everyone, including Askarov, with a well-timed shot from a bad angle. Czech Republic regained the lead and Askarov, who has been as highly touted as any goaltending prospect in the last decade, had conceded three goals on a single-digit number of shots.
If Russia’s coaching staff at the time was pondering a goalie change, they immediately got other, better things on their mind when Zamula tied the game with his second of the day only 45 seconds later.
Late in the period, a penalty on Nikita Rtishchev gave Czech Republic a formidable chance to go on top yet again with a 40-second five-on-three. Jan Jenik immediately demonstrated his skills to slap one past Askarov and make it 4-3.
Seconds later and still a man down, Anton Malyshev took his second penalty of the day. This gave the home team yet another, longer chance to play two men up. Russia eventually weathered the storm to make sure that the Czech advantage remained just one goal.
Before the start of the third period, head coach Valeri Bragin decided that he had seen enough of Askarov and replaced him with Bars Kazan’s Amir Miftakhov.
Russia spent most of the third period chasing that fourth goal to tie it up, without creating any first-class chances. With a few minutes left, the already undisciplined Russian team became desperate and irritated, taking their seventh and eight penalty of the game and giving the Czechs yet another opportunity to play five-on-three. The last of the penalties gave the culprit, Russian defender Danila Galenyuk, a one-way trip to the locker room with three-and-a-half minutes left.
Russia extracted the last of their energy trying to come up with a game tying goal, removing Miftakhov and playing six-on-five once they had survived the penalty kill, but to no gain. To the joy of the home crowd, the Czech Republic won their first game of the tournament against their rivals.
Both teams will now recharge for Saturday and their second outing of round robin, where the Czechs will face off against Germany, and Russia will try to overcome the difficult challenge of playing Canada.
Canada takes on Slovakia as World Juniors continue on TSN – TSN
Team Canada has had its first taste of summer hockey at the World Junior Championship and will continue the quest for gold tonight against Slovakia.
Watch Canada vs. Slovakia at 6 p.m. ET on TSN4, TSN.ca and the TSN App. TSN’s coverage of Thursday’s games at the tournament begins at 2 p.m. ET with Finland facing Czechia.
Connor Bedard, a top prospect for the 2023 NHL draft, opened the scoring for Canada (1-0-0) and added an assist in a 5-2 win over Latvia (0-0-2) on Wednesday.
Sebastian Cossa got the start in net and made 22 saves for a Canadian squad quickly looking to build chemistry in Edmonton.
Canada’s head coach Dave Cameron said prior to the game he wanted to see “disciplined 200-foot hockey” and that the effort against Latvia was pretty much what he expected.
“It’s early, this is really only our second game, so you knew it was going to come in ebbs and flows,” said Cameron. “I like that we stuck with it and found a way to get that fifth goal which was huge and took a little bit of that pressure off towards the end of the game.”
Canada has reached the podium in four of the past five tournaments, including gold medals in 2018 and 2020. Canada last won gold on home soil in 2015.
Cameron was quick to say that getting prepared to play hockey in August is not an issue.
“Not a chance, it’s what I do,” said Cameron. “I’ve done summer tournaments before … hockey’s hockey.
“It doesn’t matter the environment, the city, the number of people in the stands, anything like that. We’re hockey people and when that puck drops – game on.”
Slovakia (0-0-1), which features another top 2023 draft prospect in centre Dalibor Dvorsky, fell 5-4 to Czechia in their first match of the tournament on Tuesday.
TSN’s Mark Masters reports that Dylan Garand is expected to start against Slovakia.
Riley Kidney and Carson Lambos are projected to be scratches, while Brennan Othmann and Ethan Del Mastro will draw in for Canada.
Tom Brady Steps Aside From The Buccaneers: Details – HotNewHipHop
Tom Brady is one of the best players in the entire NFL, and this season, he is looking to win his eighth Super Bowl title. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking good right now, and there is a real sense that they will win the NFC South, once again.
Unfortunately, Brady has had to put a halt to his training camp efforts as he is dealing with a personal matter. According to Ian Rapaport, Brady was not at practice today due to the issue and it seems like he won’t be returning to the field until after the team’s upcoming preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, which is set to take place on August 20th.
Brady is one of the oldest quarterbacks in the history of the league, and it is nothing short of impressive that he is still performing at such a high level. Many pundits believe the Buccaneers are favorites to win it all, yet again, although they will have to prove themselves following a disappointing end to the season in 2022.
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images for The Match
This is a developing story so stay tuned to HNHH for all of the latest news and updates.
Watch Live: Oilers pay tribute to Ben Stelter – Sportsnet.ca
Ben Stelter was an inspiration to many in the sports world and beyond.
Two months before his fifth birthday, Stelter was diagnosed with glioblastoma — a form of brain cancer. After meeting the Edmonton Oilers, he quickly became a motivation for the team during their run to the Western Conference Final.
Stelter died at the age six, his father had announced Wednesday.
The Oilers will speak publicly starting at around 12:30 p.m. ET, and their comments can be seen in their entirety on Sportsnet through the video player atop this page.
Note: This live stream has ended.
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