International Ice Hockey Federation

Czechs rebound

Defeat Latvia 4-1, even up record in Zug

Published 17.04.2015 18:46 GMT+2 | Author Adam Steiss
Czechs rebound
ZUG, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 17: The Czech Republic's Pavel Zacha #13 skates with the puck while fending off Latvia's Eriks Zohovs #15 during preliminary round action at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship. (Photo by Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)
The Czech Republic got its 2015 U18 World Championship campaign back on track, taking care of business against Latvia 4-1.

David Kase opened the scoring in the first period with a marker 4:05 into the game, assisted by Michael Spacek and Filip Hronek. Pavel Zacha extended the Czechs’ lead to 2-0 in the second period with a power play goal, which Latvia answered courtesy of a score from Martins Dzierkals.

“I feel we prepared for this game better,” said Zacha, whose team opened the tournament by taking 30 penalty minutes in a 6-1 loss to Finland. “It was an important game for us to advance to the quarter-finals so we prepared well and played our best game so far.”

Shots on goal were fairly balanced through two periods and the Latvians looked like they might equalize early in the third. But after Lukas Jasek missed a penalty shot wide to the left of the Latvian goal, his teammate Lukas Andel took advantage of a lapse in the Latvian defence that left the forward wide open in front of the net. Spacek found Andel with a pass and the Czechs got the 3-1 insurance goal. Zacha added an empty netter as the Czechs improved to 1W-1L in the tournament.

“I think we are all very skilled players but we have to play more Canadian-style, getting to the net and shooting a lot,” said Zacha. “Today we did a lot of this, shooting a lot on the power play and getting down to block shots on the penalty kill.”

Despite playing fairly well against Canada and the Czech Republic, newly-promoted Latvia finds itself without a win through two games and will need to improve fast or face the relegation round. Both Latvia and the Czech Republic get a day off before facing Finland and Canada respectively on Sunday.