MONTREAL, QC. — Team Canada is back on the ice as they hope to remain undefeated against Team Czech for the fourteenth time in a row tonight, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Both teams’ last game sheets ran a little longer than the average hockey game. Team Czech beat Denmark 7-0 last night at Edmonton’s Rexall Place while Canada beat Finland 8-1 at the same venue the night before. Mark Stone recorded a hat trick and Memorial Cup MVP Jonathan Huberdeau had five points while Canadiens’ prospect Brendan Gallagher scored once and added two helpers, with Nathan Beaulieu chipping in an assist as well.
Alexander Ruuttu, son of former NHLer Christian Ruuttu, was the only one to get on the board for the Finns. Goaltender Christopher Gibson was made to face 42 Canadian shots for the balance of the game.
Also making headlines was one Boone Jenner, who Finnish defenseman Olli Maatta (or anyone else for that matter) will likely not want to see any time soon.
The trio of Habs’ representatives that also includes Michaël Bournival will not be facing off against Daniel Přibyl tonight, he who suffered an injury in the game against Denmark and will reportedly not be ready to return for this matchup.
Pre-game edit: Přibyl has been added to the roster for tonight’s game and is expected to play after all.
Team Czech has had a rough go of World Junior Hockey Championship action since winning gold in 2001, especially in recent years. Last year’s 7th-place finish included a brush with the dreaded R-word, relegation, and their being in a division that includes both Canada and the US is not a positive sign for the end of their struggles. As far as this squad goes, however, CHLers Lukáš Sedlák, Tomáš Hyka, Tomáš Filippi, Petr Straka, Radek Faksa, Jakub Culek, Marek Hrbas, David Musil and Petr Mrázek all represent Team Czech. Faksa and Filippi got two of the Czechs’ seven goals against Denmark.
Also in Group B action, Jarred Tinordi, who had a goal in Team USA’s 11-3 smattering of Denmark on Boxing Day, is currently in action against Finland. The two teams are scoreless through one period of play.