Czechs prevail in shootout against Canada to top group

Winter Olympics 2018: Canada vs. Czech Republic men's hockey live updates, highlights, score, result

Winter Olympics 2018: Canada vs. Czech Republic men's hockey live updates, highlights, score, result

Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Men's Preliminary Round Match - Canada v Czech Republic - Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 17, 2018 - Rene Bourque of Canada in action during the first period.

The Canadians twice blew one-goal leads on Saturday before falling 3-2 in a shootout to the Czech Republic at the Gangneung Hockey Centre.

Make no mistake - the host team is being given virtually no chance of even keeping this one close.

Finland, who beat the Russians to take the third seeding, will meet sixth-seeded Sweden on Saturday for the right to play the Americans, and the fourth-seeded Russians take on fifth-seeded Switzerland to earn a spot against Canada.

After both of the next shooters missed, Canada had a chance to tie but after beating Czech goalie Pavel Francouz with a nice move, Maxim Noreau's soft shot bounced off the post, giving the Czechs the win.

BC-OLY-HKO-Canada-Czech Republic, 147 Olympic streak over as Canada loses to Czechs in shootoutAP Photo OLYMH146, OLYMH145, OLYMH144, OLYMH147, OLYMH148, OLYMH149, OLYMH151, OLYMH143, OLYMH142, OLYMH141, OLYMH136, OLYMH135, OLYMH130Eds: APNewsNow.

Both Czech goals came off some scrambly play in the Canadian zone.

But the Czechs wouldn't go away and evened the score only 25 seconds into the second period with Michal Jordan's goal. Group play ends Sunday with the Czechs facing Switzerland and the Canadians up against the South Koreans.

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But the closer the game got to overtime, the more the intensity increased as desperation ruled.

The U.S. head into the second round with the highest number of shots in the tournament at 137, but are more than four full percentage points behind Canada in scoring efficiency.

Andrew Ebbett thought he might get off on a breakaway during the crazed stanza but was out of juice, so he sprung Mat Robinson, who started the play by stealing the puck and hustled his way onto the attack.

Petr Koukal and Jan Kouvar were successful for the Czechs against Ben Scrivens.

A win Friday night for the Canadians would go a long way towards clinching a spot in the quarterfinals ahead of their final preliminary round game against the Republic of Korea. The Canadians showed good puck movement on the power play with Vey spotting fellow former Vancouver Canuck Raymond for a slick tip-in in front of goal at 1:13. Dominik Kubalik tied things up for the Czechs at 6:52 in the same period.

Roy opened up the Czech defence with a nifty rush.

For the second game in a row, Canada scored on its first shot. Scrivens, who had mishandled the puck seconds earlier, stopped a Michal Birner shot but Jordan banged in the rebound. The Czechs did not help their cause late in the period when Canada defenceman Chris Lee ended up in their bench, prompting an interference call. He had, however, won the last five duels and eight of the last 10.

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