Czechs win wild one, 7-4
Belarus drops to 0-2 with loss
The Czechs got their 2017 U18 off to a flying start, jumping out to a 6-1 lead midway through the game and settling for a 7-4 win. Belarus, 7-0 losers last night to the Americans, are 0-2 and in a hole heading into the weekend.
Teams combined for 60 penalty minutes in what became a sometimes nasty game that included two misconduct penalties.
The Czechs scored two goals in the opening six minutes on goals by Krystof Hrabik and Jan Hladonik, but Belarus went to the dressing room with a bit of life after scoring short-handed with only one second left in the first period. Igor Martynov got the important goal.
But in the first eight minutes of the second the Czechs incurred 18 penalty minutes and Belarus six. Despite being short-handed, the Czechs scored the next two goals during brief spells of five-on-five hockey.
When Filip Kral made it 4-0 at 10:49, Belarus coach Yuri Faikov pulled Andrei Grishenko in favour of Nikita Tolopilo. The change did little to stymie the Czech attack as they quickly scored two goals just 33 seconds apart.
Faikov then reversed his decision and brought Grishenko back in, leaving Tolopilo with a record of 3:12 of playing time and two goals against.
Dmitri Kot got a late goal for Belarus to make it 6-2.
Late in the third Martynov was awarded a penalty shot and scored, but he disaplayed poor judgement in his celebrations and was handed a rare 10-minute misconduct penalty for taunting, ending his evening.
Belarus scored a final goal with nine seconds remaining to make the score a little closer, but the Czechs were clearly the better team.
The Czechs play Sweden tomorrow night while Belarus plays the Swedes on Easter Sunday.