BARRINGTON, N.S. – Radim Zohorna scored with just 5:36 to go in the third period, leading the Czech Republic to a 3-2 win over Canada East in pre-tournament action ahead of the 2013 World Junior A Challenge on Saturday.
Zohorna’s goal came just 63 seconds after Taylor Best (Whitby, Ont./Whitby, OJHL) tied the game for Canada East, the second time the Canadians had erased a Czech lead.
There would be no third comeback for the easterners, however, despite holding a whopping 23-4 advantage in shots on goal in the third period, and 40-30 overall.
The Czechs struck first just 11 seconds into their first power play opportunity, with Dominik Pokorny opening the scoring at 6:19 of the first period, but Corey Kalk (Thornhill, Ont./North York, OJHL) pulled Canada East even just shy of the five-minute mark of the second.
Pavel Jenys restored the Czech Republic lead in the final minute of the middle frame, setting up the back-and-forth finish.
Vitek Vanacek and Karel Vejmekla both shone in the Czech goal, with Vanacek making 13 saves before giving way midway through the game to Vejmelka, who stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced in his 30 minutes of work.
Jordan Piccolino (Pierrefonds, Que./Cornwall, CCHL) went the distance for Canada East, finishing with 27 saves.
Canada East opens its tournament Monday night (8 p.m. AT) when it takes on the United States, while the Czechs won’t see the ice again until Tuesday afternoon, when they face Canada West (4 p.m. AT).
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)