Saint John, N.B.
O’ROURKE SCORES IN OT, BLACK EDGES CZECHS FOR FIRST U17 WIN
JASON LA ROSE
SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Ryan O’Rourke (Pickering, Ont./Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) jammed in the game-winner in the final minute of overtime, giving Canada Black a 3-2 extra-time win over the Czech Republic on Monday afternoon at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
The Canadian side worked overtime for the second time in less than 24 hours after its loss to Canada White in the preliminary-round opener Sunday night.
After Jean-Luc Foudy (Scarborough, Ont./Windsor, OHL) circled the net and tried to stuff it past Jan Bednar, O’Rourke followed up and snuck his shot under the Czech netminder to give Black the extra point.
Foudy was in on all three Black goals, scoring once and adding a pair of assists.
The Czechs held an 11-8 advantage on shots on goal in a first period that was free of goals and penalties.
The Black power play went to work in the second period, with Pier-Olivier Roy (Lac-Etchemin, Que./Gatineau, QMJHL) jumping on a Foudy rebound for a five-on-three goal just shy of the seven-minute mark.
Jan Cikhart answered on a Czech man advantage at 14:03 of the middle frame, swatting a rebound through Canadian goaltender Garin Bjorklund (Grande Prairie, Alta./Calgary Buffaloes, AMHL) to send the game to the intermission tied 1-1.
Foudy restored the Black lead early in the third period when he corralled a long-distance flip pass from Jamie Drysdale (Toronto, Ont./Erie, OHL) and went five-hole on Bednar, but a quick shot from Jakub Maly beat Bjorklund on the glove-side seven minutes later to force overtime.
The Canadians finished with a comfortable advantage in shots on goal, 37-24.
Both teams finish up their prelim schedules Tuesday; Canada Black meets the United States (3:30 p.m. AT), right before the Czechs take on Canada White (7:30 p.m. AT).