The Canadian Press
April 26 2014 ISN – LAPEENRANTA, Finland – David Kase scored at 6:17 of overtime to give the Czech Republic a 4-3 semifinal win over Canada at the world under-18 hockey championship Saturday.
Kase converted a turnover in the Canadian zone to move the Czechs into the tournament final against the United States on Sunday. The Americans advanced with a 4-1 semifinal victory over Sweden.
Canada, the defending champion who erased an early 3-0 deficit, will play the Swedes for the bronze medal Sunday.
The Czechs dominated the early stages of overtime, forcing Canadian goalie Mason McDonald to come up big. Canada went on the power play after David Pastrnak was called for hooking Travis Konecny at 2:07 but couldn’t score.
The Canadians forced overtime with third-period goals by Joe Hicketts and Daniel Audette.
Jiri Smejkal, Jakub Vrana and Michael Spacek scored in regulation for the Czech Republic, which outshot the Canadians 33-30.
Mathew Barzal also scored for Canada.
The Czechs wasted no time opening the scoring, with Spacek’s goal coming just 1:15 into the contest. Vrana made it 2-0 at 7:37 of the second before Smejkal converted on a two-on-one break at 12:57.
Barzal cut Canada’s deficit to 3-1 with a power-play goal at 14:51. The Canadians came close moments after, with Ryan Gropp having a great scoring chance off a two-on-one, but couldn’t beat Czech goalie Vtek Vanecek. Queeneville also had a glorious opportunity to make it a one-goal game with just over two minutes remaining.
Hicketts pulled Canada to within 3-2 when his wrist shot from the point beat a screened Vanecek at 5:02 of the third before Audette scored off a goal-mouth scramble in front of Vanecek at 12:21.