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8.2.2017 | Derek OBrien

Czechs hold on for win over Finns

The Czechs got an early goal from Karel Plasek and a late goal from Michal Kvasnica, then held on for a 2-1 win after Rasmus Kupari got the Finns on the board in the late going. Goalies Lukas Dostal and Justus Annunen were both strong throughout the game.

 
 
 
Game #2  •  We 8.2.2017  •  18:00
Czech Rep.
2:1
Finland
 
Periods: 1:0, 0:0, 1:1
Czech Rep.: Dostal – Zabransky (C), Malik, Klejna, Dajcar, Dluhos, Kowalczyk, Adamek – Gajarsky, Cajka, Sik – Pekar (A), Lauko, Koblizek – Kvasnica, Arnost, Sedlak – Plasek (A), Strondala, Kropacek – Svoboda.
Finland: Annunen – Kokkonen, Ketola, Salmela (C), Akerman, Seppala, Rannisto, Nousiainen, Kakkonen – Killinen, Moilanen, Maccelli – Tanus (A), Kupari (A), Kivenmaki – Siikanen, Kapanen, Maki – Petman, Konsta.
Goals and assists: 9. Plasek (Zabransky), 56. Kvasnica (Kropacek) – 58. Kupari (Maki, Salmela)
Shots on goal: 35:20 (13:5, 10:6, 12:9).
Penalties: 4:6. PP goals: 0:0. SH goals: 0:0.
Referees: Hribik – Gebaurer, Hanzlík.

Game report

The first goal came less than nine minutes into the first period, when the Czechs broke in 2-on-1. Karel Plasek then jumped into the rush, which became a 3-on-2, and Libor Zabransky dropped the puck to him. Committed to a shot from Zabransky, Finnish goalie Justus Annunen was not square to Plasek, and then over-committed to his left. Plasek moved to his left on the forehand and slid the puck in.

There were several more chances in the first period for both teams, although no goals. The Finns were unlucky to hit iron twice – Kristian Tanus hit the crossbar, and then in the last minute of the period, a harmless looking shot from the point was tipped in front and hit the base of the goalpost.

The Czechs had an excellent chance to double their lead midway through the second period on another 2-on-1, as Adam Gajarsky fed the puck across to defenceman Zack Malik, who fanned on the shot while staring at an open side of the net. Then the Finns had a pair of excellent chances in the second half of the middle frame, but Czech goalie Lukas Dostal came up big when he stopped Otto Kivenmaki on a breakaway. Less than a minute later, Matias Maccelli fired just wide on a one-time attempt from the middle of the slot.

In the middle of the third period it was the Czechs who pressed hard for a second goal. Annunen made a great save on a drive by Matej Pekar, and then minutes later there was a bouncing puck in the Finnish crease, but nobody could get a stick on it to knock it in. Finally, with 4:35 to play, the scond goal came. Right off a faceoff in the attacking zone, Michal Kvasnica went to the net, took a pass from Vojtech Kropacek and fired a beautiful wrister over Annunen´s blocker and into the top corner.

At that point, it looked like the Czechs had the game wrapped up, but the Finns had other ideas. Pulling Annunen for a sixth attacker with just under three minutes to play, and Eetu Maki´s blast from the point was tipped in front by Rasmus Kupari, breaking Dostal´s shutout bid with 2:43 on the clock.

Now within a goal, the Finns again pulled Annunen and called a timeout with 30 seconds to play, but were unable to get the equalizer, as the Czechs held on.

 
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