Host Czechs open world juniors with win over Russia

Czech Republic's Jan Jenik, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides fourth goal during the U20 Ice Hockey Worlds match between Czech Republic and Russia in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. (Petr David Josek/AP)

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Jan Jenik had a goal and an assist as the host Czech Republic opened the world junior hockey championship with a 4-3 win over Russia on Thursday.

The 19-year-old Jenik — an Arizona Coyotes prospect playing for the Ontario Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs — scored what turned into the winner with just under three minutes to go in the second while on a 5-on-3 power play.

Simon Kubicek, Jan Mysak and Matej Blumel also found the back of the net for the Czech Republic (1-0-0), which finished seventh in 2019 after bowing out in the quarterfinals against the United States.

Lukas Dostal made 33 saves for the win in the Group B matchup.

Yego Zamula had a pair of goals and Vasili Podkolzin also scored for Russia (0-1-0), last year’s bronze medallists.

Yaroslav Askarov allowed four goals in two periods of work to take the loss for the Russians. Amir Miftakhov came in to play the third.

Boston Bruins prospect Jakub Lauko of the Czech Republic injured his knee in the opening minute of the game and didn’t return.

Later, Canada plays its first Group B game against the United States, and Finland faces Sweden in a Group A tilt.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.