Cole Caufield scored his first goal of the tournament at 3:14 of overtime to give the Americans a 4-3 win over the Czechs.
The win leaves the Czechs’ playoff hopes in doubt until tomorrow’s games. They need Russia to beat Germany in regulation time in the early game, or they need to get at least a point from their own game against Canada in the evening.
The U.S. has now played its four preliminary round games and can finish no worse than second place.
Caufield’s goal came after a lengthy period of puck possession by the Czechs, but they couldn’t get a decent shot at Spencer Knight in the U.S. goal.
The Americans got on the board early to silence the crowd, scoring a nice goal on the power play. Nick Robertson feathered a pass from behind the net to Shane Pinto at the top of the crease, and he wasted no time in scoring his tournament-best fourth goal at 3:45.
The goal seemed to ignite the Czechs, though, and they dominated most of the period from that point. They evened the score six minutes later when captain Libor Zábranský nailed a shot through a maze of players in front.
Then, near the end of the period, the Czechs took their first lead thanks to a fine-on-three advantage. Karel Plášek found Zábranský to the back side of Knight’s goal and he redirected it off the goalie’s pad and in at 18:16, sending the pro-Czech crowd into a frenzy.
That frenzy didn’t have much opportunity to show itself in the second period. The Americans tied the score just 79 seconds in on a delayed penalty when Arthur Kaliyev drilled one of his unstoppable one-timers high into the net. It came out so quickly that the referee, standing right there, ruled no goal at first. Video review confirmed the shot went in, though.
Then, less than five minutes later, Trevor Zegras made a dazzling, twirling pass through the slot right onto the stick of Jack Drury, who made no mistake. As soon as he scored, he pointed to Zegras to make clear number 9 made the great play.
The Czechs finished the period with consecutive penalties, but the Americans collapsed around Knight and blocked shots and lanes and prevented the Czechs from getting many decent chances.
The building exploded at 6:57 of the third when Šimon Kubíček blasted a shot from the point in, tying the game. But the play went to video review and it was ruled that there was goaltender interference. However, there was a delayed penalty, so the Czechs went on a power play. Near its end, they tied the game again, and this one counted. Petr Čajka swept home a rebound from in close, and the fans went crazy, setting the stage for a wild finish.
02:55 – 🇨🇿 PEN – Kučeřík, hooking
03:45 – 🇺🇸 PP GOAL – Pinto (Robertson, Wahlstrom)
09:35 – 🇨🇿 GOAL – Zábranský (Klikorka)
10:51 – 🇨🇿 PEN – Čajka, holding
16:30 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Samuelsson, interference
17:13 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Pivonka, slashing
18:16 – 🇨🇿 PP GOAL – Zábranský (Teplý, Plášek)
21:19 – 🇺🇸 GOAL – Kaliyev (Zegras, Miller)
22:42 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Samuelsson, tripping
23:42 – 🇨🇿 PEN – Pytlík, holding
26:01 – 🇺🇸 PP GOAL – Drury (Zegras, Kaliyev)
27:18 – 🇨🇿 PEN – Myšák, holding
33:51 – 🇨🇿 PEN – Pavel, hooking
36:03 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Zegras, hooking
38:21 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Miller, tripping
42:21 – 🇨🇿 PEN – Kubíček, tripping
46:57 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Drury, tripping
48:41 – 🇨🇿 PP GOAL – Čajka (Kubíček)
51:08 – 🇨🇿 PEN – team, too many players
63:14 – 🇺🇸 GOAL – Caufield (Turcotte)
W: 🇺🇸 Knight (26-29)
L: 🇨🇿 Pařík (39-43)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇺🇸 17+9+15+2 = 43
🇨🇿 9+13+7+0 = 29
🇺🇸 Goaltenders: Spencer Knight, Dustin Wolf. Defence: Ty Emberson, Jordan Harris, Zac Jones, K’Andre Miller (A), Mattias Samuelsson (C), Spencer Stastney, Cam York. Forwards: John Beecher, Bobby Brink, Cole Caufield, Jack Drury, Parker Ford, Curtis Hall, Arthur Kaliyev, Shane Pinto, Jacob Pivonka, Nick Robertson, Alex Turcotte, Oliver Wahlstrom (A), Trevor Zegras.
🇨🇿 Goaltenders: Nick Malík, Lukáš Pařík. Defence: Tomáš Dajčar, Martin Haš, Karel Klikorka, Šimon Kubíček, Radek Kučeřík, Libor Zábranský (C). Forwards: Matěj Blümel, Petr Čajka (A), Jan Jeník (A), Jan Myšák, Ondřej Pavel, Matěj Pekař, Karel Plášek, Jaromír Pytlík, Adam Raška, Otakar Šik, Michal Teplý.
|🇺🇸 UNITED STATES (C)
(since 29 Dec 2019)
|Last Title||08 Nov 2019|
(+ 1 tie)
|First IHLC Meeting (USA vs. CZE)
🇺🇸 USA 5-2 TCH 🇨🇿 – 27 Dec 1985 – WJC – Hamilton 🇨🇦
|Previous IHLC Meeting (USA vs. CZE)
🇺🇸 USA 3-0 CZE 🇨🇿 – 09 Aug 2014 – NJC – Lake Placid 🇺🇸
|Last IHLC Game
🇺🇸 USA 3-1 RUS 🇷🇺 – 29 Dec 2019 – WJC – Ostrava 🇨🇿
|Next IHLC Game
🇫🇮 FIN 1-0 USA 🇺🇸 – 02 Jan 2020 – WJC – Třinec 🇨🇿