The Czech Republic came to the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship believing that they had a squad capable of bringing home a medal, maybe even a golden one. So far, so good for the Czechs as they advanced to the U18 semi-finals with a 3-2 overtime win over Russia in one of four quarterfinal matches that took place on Thursday.
The hero for the Czech Republic in the win over Russia was the player that has been the Czechs' best offensive player at this tournament. Forward Jakub Vrana deposited the rebound of a shot by defenseman Filip Pyrochta behind Russian goaltender Maxim Tretiak to give the Czechs the win and a semi-final date with Canada.
Vrana, who competed for the Linkoping organization in Sweden in 2013-14, is the leading goal-scorer at this U18. He has scored seven goals in the five games that the Czechs have played so far, one more than the tournament's leading point-getter, Sweden's William Nylander.
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