TECUMSEH, Ont. – Adam Zboril scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner midway through the second period, as the Czech Republic earned its first win of the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge with a 5-2 victory over West on Saturday night.
The loss dropped West to 0-2 at the U17 tournament for the second time in three years. It needs a win against the United States on Sunday in Tecumseh (7 p.m. ET) to avoid its first 0-3 start since 2004 in St. John’s, N.L., when it went winless in the preliminary round and finished in ninth place.
Tomas Andrlik, Martin Kohout and Dominik Pokorny had the other goals for the Czechs (1-2), who avoided an 0-3 start and kept their semifinal hopes alive. Jan Stencel and Alex Pisarik added two assists each in the win.
Craig Leverton (Clavet, Sask./Lethbridge, WHL) and Jonothan Martin (Winnipeg, Man./Kootenay, WHL) scored the goals for West, which erased 1-0 and 2-1 deficits before the Czechs pulled away in the latter half of the game. Austin Lotz (St. Adolphe, Man./Everett, WHL) made 30 saves in the West goal, but suffered his second loss in as many starts.
The Czechs hit the ice for the fourth time in as many days on Sunday, opening 2012 against Russia in LaSalle (2 p.m. ET).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)