MATUS’ THREE POINTS LEAD CZECHS TO FIRST WJAC VICTORY
LANGLEY, B.C. – Radim Matus scored once and added two assists and Martin Prochazka netted the winner midway through the third period as the Czech Republic earned its first-ever win at the World Junior A Challenge, beating Russia 4-3 on Tuesday afternoon.
Prochazka drove down the left wing and snuck a backhand past Russian netminder Andrey Vasilevski to give the Czechs their third lead of the game, one they held on to despite a late 6-on-4 advantage for the Russians.
The line of Matus, Petr Koblasa and Erik Nemec combined for seven points for the Czech Republic – Koblasa and Nemec each added a goal and assist to go along with Matus’ three points – and goaltender Patrik Polivka made 40 saves to earn the win.
Alexei Filippov, Arseni Khatsei and Alexei Kudreman scored for the Russians, who fought back from a two-goal deficit early in the second period to tie the game before Prochazka’s winner.
Ivan Nalimov allowed three goals on 15 shots for Russia before being replaced by Vasilevski 20 seconds into the second period.
Russia wraps up preliminary round play in Group B on Wednesday against Canada East (4 p.m. PT), while the Czechs will wait for the conclusion of the round robin to find out who and when they play in the playoff round.