CZECHS EDGE WHITE IN OT TO WIN BRONZE
JASON LA ROSE
MEDICINE HAT, Alta. – Martin Rysavy tucked in a wraparound with just 14.4 seconds to go in overtime, giving the Czech Republic a 3-2 win over Canada White and the bronze medal Saturday at the 2019 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
It is the second time in three years the Czechs have won bronze, and they did it both times after going through three preliminary-round games without a victory.
The game seemed destined for a shootout before Jiri Tichacek carried the puck deep into the Canadian zone and dished to Rysavy behind the net. He made a quick move to the front and slipped a shot five-hole on White goaltender William Rousseau (Trois-Rivières, Que./Trois-Rivières, LHMAAAQ) to send the Czechs pouring off the bench.
Petr Moravec and Jakub Altrichter also scored for the European side, while Tomas Suchanek made 29 saves.
The first period belonged to special teams, with each team finding the back of the net once.
Brett Harrison (London, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) opened the scoring just past the seven-minute mark with the Canadians shorthanded, breaking in alone and slipping a backhand five-hole on Suchanek.
Moravec answered on a Czech power play at 15:13, toe-dragging to the middle of the ice and going against the grain to beat Rousseau and send the game to the first intermission even.
The lone goal of a shot-filled second period came from Altrichter, who took advantage of a bad Canadian change by driving to the net and beating Rousseau on the far side late in the period.
That was the only one of 14 shots to beat Rousseau in the middle frame, while Suchanek stopped all 10 he faced.
The Altrichter goal looked like it might stand up as the game-winner, but Matthew Savoie (St. Albert, Alta./Rink Hockey Academy, CSSHL) got the proverbial monkey off his back with his first of the tournament on a late power play, putting a shot towards the net that hit a Czech leg and eluded Suchanek.
Both teams had their chances in overtime, including a point-blank opportunity for Mason McTavish (Carp, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) that he sent high over the net just minutes before the Rysavy heroics.
It’s the third bronze and fourth medal won by the Czechs at the tournament. They were silver medallists in 1998, and also stood on the lowest step of the podium in 2006 and 2017.