Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Czechs win by a touchdown

Press Release

EDMONTON – Tomas Hertl scored two goals and goalie Petr Mrazek got the easy shutout in leading the Czech Republic to a 7-0 win over Denmark at Rexall Place tonight.

Jakub Culek and Tomas Hyka had two assists each, and 13 Czech players had at least one point. The Czechs also scored three times with the man advantage.

"I’m very pleased to score my first two goals in the World Junior Championship, and I’m very happy that I could help my team," Hertl said through a translator. "We knew we had to win and that’s what we did."

The only previous meeting between the two teams at U20 was at the 2008 World Juniors, a 5-2 win by the Czechs.

The Czechs got the only goal of the first period on a power play. Culek took a shot aimed to the side of the goal and Hertl made a nice deflection. The puck hit the post, bounced off the inside pad of goalie Sebastian Feuk, and rolled over the goal line.

At the other end, the Danes went without a goal on three power plays of their own. They had scored three goals with the extra man the previous night against the Americans. In all, the Czechs outshot Denmark in the first period, 16-2.

Hertl got an even luckier goal early in the second during a period of total dominance by the Czechs. Linemate Culek controlled the puck in the Danish end and got it to Hertl behind the goal. Hertl skated out to the corner at the end red line and simply fired the puck through the crease. It went off the back pad of Feuk and in for a 2-0 Czech lead.

Radek Faksa made it 3-0 on a nice deflection in front of Feuk off a point shot from Jiri Riha. By this point shots were 28-4 and the Danes were merely trying to get the puck out of their end.

The Czechs blew the game open early in the third with a pair of goals 20 seconds apart. Petr Holik got the fourth goal on a power play when he skated out from the corner to the slot and ripped a shot over Feuk’s glove. Tomas Filippi then capitalized on a terrible error by Jannik Christensen, who overskated the puck in front of his own goal.

The Czechs got late goals from Dmitrij Jaskin on the power play and Jiri Riha short-handed to close out the scoring. They outshot the Danes by a 44-12 margin.

The Czechs play Canada tomorrow in the late game in Edmonton while Denmark rests a day before playing Canada on Thursday.

"Canada will play on home soil and the crowd will be behind them, but this shouldn’t distract us from trying to win as well," Hertl said. "We want to get to the final round, and then we will see how far we can get. The main thing is to make the final round."

(Nathan can be reached at

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