Dawson Creek, B.C.
VOMACKA BACKS CZECHS TO VICTORY IN U17 SEVENTH-PLACE GAME
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Tomas Vomacka stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced as the Czech Republic stopped Canada Black with a 4-2 win in the seventh-place game Friday afternoon at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Czechs matched their finish from their last appearance in the tournament; they finished seventh at the 2014 event in Cape Breton, N.S., and didn’t take part last November in Sarnia-Lambton, Ont.
Canada Black had no shortage of opportunities, outshooting the Czechs 32-26.
Martin Kaut wasted absolutely no time getting the Czechs on the board right out of the gate, with Martin Necas setting up the game’s first goal just 15 seconds after the puck dropped.
The Canadians struck back just past the seven-minute mark of the opening frame when Ben Jones (Waterloo, Ont./Niagara, OHL) made a cross-ice feed to Michael Rasmussen (South Surrey, B.C./Tri-City, WHL), who beat Vomacka upstairs to tie the game.
That would be it for scoring until the 13:03 mark of the second period, when Black goaltender Alex D’Orio (Sherbrooke, Que./Magog, LHMAAAQ) denied a sharp-angled shot by Filip Chytil but couldn’t stop Matej Novak on the rebound, sending the Czechs to the intermission up 2-1.
The Canadians pressed to open the third but couldn’t find a way past Vomacka, and Ostap Safin pushed the Czech lead to two at 12:48, taking a pass from Matyas Svoboda and snapping a shot that went off the post and in on the short-side of D’Orio.
Canada Black answered back on the power play at 16:42 when Stelio Mattheos (Winnipeg, Man./Brandon, WHL) redirected an Arnaud Durandeau (Beaconsfield, Que./Halifax, QMJHL) snap shot past Vomacka, but that would be as close as the Canadians would get.
D’Orio headed to the bench with 64 seconds left to give Canada Black the extra attacker, but Necas hit the open cage with just 17 ticks remaining to clinch the win for the Czechs.
The Canadians did not spend any time in the penalty box, becoming the first team in the tournament to go an entire game without being penalized.