Czechia – Slovakia 5:4, Crazy match at the start of the WC! The 20s almost lost the game they won after a turn, saved by the cheeky Szturc


It was an opening for the Czech youngsters like from a scary horror movie, because not even six minutes had passed and they were already losing by two goals. Also, the TV cameras immediately started filming the pensive goalkeeping coach Pavelec and the masked substitute Suchánek on the substitution, because the goalkeeper Bednář did not have a clear conscience, especially with the second shot. But he remained between the three bars.

“We managed to skate with the Czechs, and we finished them off, which took away their energy,” said Matej Kašlík, who scored two goals in the end, how the Slovaks surprised the Czechs even without stars Slafkovský, Nemec and Mešár.

Photo: Jason Franson, CTK/AP

Czech ice hockey player Jaroslav Chmelař (left) at the World Twenty20 in Edmonton.Photo: Jason Franson, CTK/AP

Coach Rulík had to raise his voice a lot during the first break, because a completely different team returned to the ice after that. Better skating, more assertive, more confident. Kos still shot into the bar, but then the goal hurricane came. After Menšík’s encouragement, Martin Ryšavý had no problem sweeping the puck into the empty goal in the 23rd minute, ten minutes later Gut equalized thanks to an emphasis on the edge of the goal area.

“We told ourselves that we have to forecheck more and play in the attacking zone. Goalkeeper Laktóczy is fast, but when we started to screen him and put pressure on him, it caused problems for him,” Ryšavý knew.

And when Šapovaliv succeeded with a close-range shot, the Edmonton hall sounded for the third time Karel Gott’s hit I’ll give you a cannon shot, which the 20-year-old chose as their goal song. At Rogers Place, however, only dozens of fans heard her after the sin, because tickets for the tournament are sold in day packages, and when the home team did not play on the opening day of the tournament, the Canadians did not show any interest in the other games.

When captain Myšák added the fourth goal with his 10th(!) shot in the match, it seemed to be decided. However, the Slovaks reduced in the double power play, they did not use another numerical advantage of five to three, but in the continuing classic, Kašlík equalized.

But the scalded favorite was able to knock himself out. Less than two minutes before the end of regular time, Szturc took over the puck in the middle of the field, confidently drove it in front of the goal and cheekily saved the Czechs under the crossbar and gave them some peace before Thursday’s duel with Finland (20:00 CET).

World Hockey Championship under 20 in Edmonton (Canada):
Group A:
Czech Republic – Slovakia 5:4 (0:2, 3:0, 2:2)
Goals and assists: 23. Ryšavý (Jiříček, Menšík), 34. Gut (Kulich, Myšák), 38. Šapovaliv (T. Urban, Měchura), 48. Myšák (Gut), 59. G. Szturc (D. Špaček) – 4. S. Petrovský, 6. Kaslík (Myklucha, R. Petrovický), 54. R. Petrovický (Dvorský), 57. Kaslík (S. Petrovský). Referees: Hennessey (USA), Holm (Sweden) – Cottaneo (Switzerland), Rey (USA). Exclusion. 5:4. Usage: 0:2.
Czechia: J. Bednář – Ticháček, Jiříček, Svozil, D. Špaček, Hamara, A. Čech – Kulich, Gut, Myšák – I. Ivan, G. Szturc, Chmelař – Kos, Menšík, Ryšavý – Měchura, Šapovaliv, T. Urban – Hauser. Coach: Radim Rulík.
Slovakia: Latkóczy – R. Petrovický, Kmec, Stripai, Štrbák, Groch, Žabka, Bakala – Jedlička, Demek, A. Sýkora – S. Petrovský, Myklucha, Kašlík – Honzek, Dvorský, Faith – L. Nemec, Repčík, Stümpel – Mišiak. Coach: Ivan Feneš.

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