Czechs rout Latvians
Pound opposition with 50-plus shots on net in first game
Outshooting the Baltic nation 51-14 through three periods, the Czechs rolled on their way to a 7-0 win in their opening game of Group A.
Pavel Zdrahal had a hat trick through two periods, each goal coming on the power play, with Miroslav Indrak, Ondrej Kase, Tomas Dvorak, and Roman Prikryl rounding out the scoring.
"It was a good start for us," said Zdrahal. "The power play was working and my teammates were able to find me with some great passes."
The Czech Republic didn’t wait long to find the back of the net in the first period. On a power play 2:45 into the game, defenceman Dominik Kubalik passed the puck down to his teammate Pavel Zdrahal, sitting along the goal line to the left of the net. Zdrahal fired a shot from the tough angle and it went in for his team’s first goal.
After what looked like a tying goal from Latvia was called off, Zdrahal struck again with his team on the man advantage, scoring his second goal courtesy of some crisp passing from teammates Dominik Kubalik and Martin Kokes.
A goal from Indrak at the end of the first, followed by Zdrahal’s third 4:40 into the second period, allowed the Czech Republic to cruise through the rest of the game.
The Czech Republic won't have much time to enjoy the victory, as they will have to face a fired up U.S. team, which lost its opener 4-3 against Russia. Latvia will have a day off before also taking on the defending champion Americans on Sunday.
"It will be a tough game," said Ondrj Kase. "We need to play strongly in our zone to keep them from using their offensive strenght against us."