Olympics men's hockey: Czech Republic downs Canada in shootout


The Czech Republic men's ice hockey team edged out South Korea 2-1 on Thursday but had to come from behind against an impressive Olympic debut performance by the host country.

The Canadians came into the tournament as the second favourite, but are probably No. 1 now that the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation opened the competition with a stunning 3-2 loss to Slovakia. Canada scored twice in both the first and second periods and once in the third, holding the Swiss to one goal late in the third.

Canada lost to the Czech Republic 3-2 in a shootout Saturday, its first loss at the Olympics since 2010.

Remarkably, the Czechs' win marked the 20-year anniversary of goalie Dominik Hasek and the Czech Republic beating Canada in a shootout in the semifinals of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. The Czech Republic came out strong with 40 shots on goal, setting a tone for the rest of the contest.

The Czech team next face Switzerland in the final game of the preliminary round on Sunday.

Unlike the unified Korean women's squad, which includes 12 players from North Korea, the South Korean men's team is not integrated and has so far escaped the spotlight cast upon the women.

Earlier in the men's tournament, Slovenia stunned the United States in overtime, and Slovakia rallied from a 2-0 deficit against the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) team and prevailed 3-2.

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"We knew they were going to be shifty", said Robinson.

Though South Korea won only one of those seven games, Park said the team emerged out of that stretch as a more confident group, knowing they can compete against the big boys of hockey.

"We were one short today, so that means I've got to be one shot better next time", said Scrivens. Noreau actually beat Francouz with Canada's final shot but the puck bounced off the post. The Canadians showed good puck movement on the power play with Linden Vey spotting fellow former Vancouver Canuck Raymond for a slick tip-in in front of goal at 1:13. And they kept the pressure up, pulling even at 6:52 after Chris Lee failed to clear a bouncing puck. He went down but the puck went to Noreau at the point and his shot found its way to Bourque who, finding a seam between two defenders in front, put it away at 13:30.

Just 25 seconds into the second period, ex-NHLer Michal Jordan pulled the Czechs level again.

"They just kind of rode me in and the door opened and two guys kind of wedged me in there", said the 37-year-old Lee, who saw the chance to draw a penalty. He had, however, won the last five duels and eight of the last 10. Scrivens stopped a shot by Michal Birner, but Jordan grabbed the back before pushing it into the net.

The Canadians upped their physical game in the second period, flooring several Czechs.

Goaltender Justin Peters, defenceman Karl Stollery and forward Quinton Howden did not dress for Canada with defenceman Stefan Elliott and forward Brandon Kozun drawing in.