Canada loses in shootout to Czech Republic in men’s hockey

The Czech Republic edged Team Canada in a shootout 3-2 after Jan Kovar beat Ben Scrivens.

GANGNEUNG, South Korea – A stiff test from the Czech Republic ended in a 3-2 shootout loss for Canada on Saturday afternoon at the Pyeongchang Olympics. Jan Kovar scored the winner for the Czechs to break a 2-2 tie through 65 minutes.

Pavel Francouz was beaten by Wojtek Wolski but stopped Maxim Lapierre, Derek Roy and Mason Raymond before Maxim Noreau hit the post for Canada. Ben Scrivens was beaten by Petr Koukal and Kovar.

Raymond and Bourque scored in regulation for Canada while Dominik Kubalik and Michal Jordan replied for the Czech Republic. Canada outshot the Czechs 33-20 during regulation and a bonkers 3-on-3 overtime in which each team could have won the game multiple times.

Scrivens made some strong stops to keep the game 2-2, throwing up his right shoulder to rob Jakub Nakladal in the second and kicking out his left leg on a Lukas Radil one-timer from the slot in the third.

The iron helped him, too, when Jiri Sekac hit the crossbar with 1:05 left.

The game was physical and chippy throughout, comically so at one point with Canada on a power play late in the second. Chris Lee got mixed up with Jordan who pushed the Canadian defenceman into the Czech bench, leading to an interference penalty.

On the ensuing 34-second, two-man advantage, Linden Vey ripped a shot off the crossbar but that was the closest Canada got on that power play.

The Canadians opened strong when Kubalik took a slashing penalty just 42 seconds into the game. On that power play, Vey made a clever pass in front to Raymond who in one motion shoveled the puck past Francouz at 1:13.

But the Czechs started throwing around the body, particularly down low in the Canadian zone and some scrambled play allowed Kubalik to redeem himself. After Scrivens deflected a centering attempt high up in the air, Chris Lee couldn’t corral the bouncing puck and Kubalik pounced on it to even the score.

The Czech pressure also led to some questionable decisions with the puck, as later in the first Marc-Andre Gragnani made a pass from his own corner to Raymond in front of the Canadian net, but Roman Cervenka intercepted it and nearly scored.

Canada retook the lead at 13:30 of the first when Bourque picked up the rebound of a Noreau point shot and swiped it past Francouz on the power play for his third at the Games.

The Czechs had the run of play for the rest of the period and were rewarded for it 25 seconds into the second. After some more sloppy play from the Canadians in their own end, a loose puck squirted out to Jordan, who snapped it home to make it 2-2.

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