Team Czech Republic has shown themselves to be a strong opponent in their four preliminary round games at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. They gave the high-powered squad from Finland all they could handle in their New Year’s Eve showdown, but ultimately fell to the Finns by a 5-4 score. The loss sends the Czechs into a quarterfinal matchup with the USA.
For a short time in the third period, it looked like the Czechs might pull out a win after taking a 4-3 lead on a goal by Michael Spacek with a little over 11 minutes left in regulation. But penalties derailed the Czechs chance at what would likely have been considered an upset, with the Finns netting two goals three minutes apart to regain the lead and secure the win.
In addition to Spacek’s goal, other Czech scorers were Jiri Smejkal, Jan Ordos, and David Sklenicka.
Burly Czech forward Tomas Soustal, who plays for the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL, has picked up an assist and three shots on goal in his role as a fourth-line forward at this WJC. He spoke with Hockey’s Future after the loss to Finland, with his comments being captured in this HF video.
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