With host Finland on the docket for a New Year’s Eve showdown, Team Czech Republic could ill afford to lose to a lesser team like Belarus if they wanted to stay ahead of their Group B counterpart while also maintaining a chance to win the group outright.
But after Simon Stransky opened the scoring for the Czechs in the first period, the hard-working Belarusians took control of the game in the second period to come out of that period with a 3-2 lead. The Czechs managed to gain momentum back in the third period, however, pouring 20 shots on Belarus goaltender Ivan Kulbakov, three of which went in the net, to earn the 5-3 win and a one-point lead over Finland in the Group B standings.
Aside from Stransky, goal scorers for the Czech Republic included Dominik Lakatos, Jiri Smejkal, Radek Vesely, and Dominik Masin (TBL). Goaltender Vitek Vanecek (WSH) stopped 21 of 24 shots for the win.
Game highlights from the Czech Republic-Belarus contest can be viewed below.
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