Harrison Blaisdell (Chilliwack Chiefs, BCHL) nettted two goals in a Team Canada West 5-4 shootout loss to the Czech Republic in their final preliminary game at the World Junior A Challenge. Hockey Canada images

Shootout loss for Canada West against Czech Republic

Team Canada West now looking forward to semifinal game

Team Canada West has already booked their ticket to the World Junior A Challenge semifinal, but a loss to the Czech Republic in Thursday night’s final preliminary round game has coaches taking a second look at their game plan.

“For us to get prepared for the semis, we have to make sure that we dial in to the coaching plan that we have here. We have to get 22 guys going,” said Rick Swan, head coach for Team Canada West.

Harrison Blaisdell (Chilliwack Chiefs, BCHL) posted a two-goal night in an offensively-charged contest, but it was the Czech Republic that earned a 5-4 shootout win.

Related: BCHL’ers blanked by Russia at World Junior A Challenge

Czech Republic players Vojtech Strondala and Jan Kern scored 59 seconds apart in the third period to tie the game and Strondala netted the game-winner in the shootout.

“We wanted to build momentum going into the semifinal because we know that test is going to be tremendous for us. Again, it’s playing our way, the right way, playing the Western way and that’s 200-foot hockey. I think we deviated from that game a little bit and we certainly made it a more difficult than it should have been here tonight for us against a very good Czech team,” said Swan.

Related: Penticton Vees player earns assist in Canada West win

The teams combined for 85 shots on goal through regulation and overtime, with the Canadians holding a 46-39 advantage.

Not surprisingly it was the goaltenders who stood out – the Czech duo of Tomas Vomacka and Daniel Dvorak, and Canadian netminder Matthew Radomsky (Winnipeg, Man./Steinbach, MJHL) combined to stop 78 shots, plus seven of 10 attempts in the shootout.

With the game on his stick in the fifth round, Strondala slowly worked his way in slowly before going five-hole on Radomsky to get the Czechs into the win column and put them in the driver’s seat for a semifinal spot.

Related: BCHL forward helps Team Canada West to win over U.S.

The Czechs struck for an early lead; Zdenek Sedlak beat Radomsky with a quick shot off a set-up from Bambula just 76 seconds after the puck dropped in the first period.

Blaisdell answered for West three minutes later, poking in a loose puck that had squeezed through Vomacka, with an asset to David Silye (Penticton Vees, BCHL). Mathieu Gosselin (Merritt Centennials, BCHL) forced a turnover behind the net before setting up Riley Hughes (Victoria Grizzlies, BCHL) to put the Canadians up 2-1 after 20 minutes.

Austin Wong (Okotoks, AJHL) pushed the lead to two just 31 seconds into the second period, snapping in a shot from the slot and chasing Vomacka, who gave way to Dvorak after allowing three goals on 14 shots.

That looked to be the score heading to the second intermission, but Bambula banged in a Strondala rebound for a power-play goal in the final minute of the middle frame, making it a 3-2 game through two.

Blaisdell added a second goal on a Canadian power play at 6:27 of the third period, going skate-to-stick before swatting a backhand past Dvorak, but the Czechs tied it up less than two minutes after that.

West captain T.J. Lloyd (Spruce Grove, AJHL) had the best Canadian chance in overtime, ringing a shot off the cross-bar, and Radomsky turned away a Lukas Rousek breakaway as time expired to get the game to a shootout.

Bambula and Alex Newhook (Victoria Grizzlies, BCHL) traded goals in the first two rounds before Strondala ended it. Massimo Rizzo (Penticton Vees, BCHL), Silye, Blaisdell and Wong missed on their attempts for Canada West.

The Czechs are right back at it Friday night in the prelim finale, looking to secure their semifinal spot against Canada East (7 p.m. MT), while West won’t see the ice again until its Saturday semifinal.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Arson suspected in several wildfires lit near Fruitvale

RCMP making progress in arson investigation of Marsh Creek fires

Trail Blazers: Looking at the pioneers of leadership

Trail Blazers is a weekly historical feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

MP reflects on Okanagan-Kootenay travels

Richard Cannings is in his second term as MP for the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding

Person steals sound system, Ipad from Rossland restaurant

Mook Thai Lounge staff have had to buy a new sound system at a cost of $700

Trail Orioles given the go ahead to return to limited action

Trail Orioles will host the Cranbrook Bandits in a doubleheader on Saturday at Butler Park

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Smoker Farms bringing craft-style cannabis to Beaverdell

Husband-wife team growing small-scale cultivations of marijuana

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

Most Read