Canada continues to roll
Canada continues to roll
Czechs have no answer for McDavid, Desrosiers
Connor McDavid scored another hat trick, his second in as many games, and Philippe Desrosiers had 18 saves in the game for his second shutout, also in as many games.
The victory now sets up a semi-final clash with Finland, who defeated Switzerland 7-4 earlier in the day.
Canada’s last game against the Czechs was a 6-2 win in the preliminary round at last year’s U18 World Championship in Brno. This year’s version of Team Canada has looked by all accounts better than the 2012 bronze medal team, having gone undefeated in the preliminary round and going into the quarter-final as the top seed in Group B.
"It's huge, but it's getting kind of repetitive because they both keep on having great games (laughs)," said team captain Sam Reinhart about the play of McDavid and Desrosiers. "The more important thing right now is that everyone is bringing their A-game at the right time."
Canada dominated the Czechs in the first ten minutes of the game, outshooting them 9-0 but unable to get any pucks past goaltender Jindrich Pacl despite three consecutive power plays.
But the Canadians broke through with 32 seconds left to go in the frame. Captain Sam Reinhart was left alone in the slot area and was found with a pass by Samuel Bennett for the opening score.
Down 1-0, the Czechs opened the second period with two straight power plays but were unable to get any pucks through Canadian goaltender Philippe Desrosiers, who came into the playoffs having allowed just a single goal in the tournament. Desrosiers made a few great saves in the frame, including stopping Czech forward Ondrej Kase on a short-handed breakaway with under five minutes to keep the Czechs scoreless.
"We just had to play our game like we did against Sweden, stay hard on the forecheck and keep the pucks behind the net," said McDavid. "(Desrosiers) has great tonight, he was great against Sweden but he was especially good tonight, if he doesn't make a couple of big saves in the second period like he did then it would have been a very different game."
Then with 1:29 left in the period, it was tournament leading scorer Connor McDavid who came through with the 2-0 score, getting the puck behind the net and firing it home with a wraparound shot.
Then, seconds later, a Czech pass in the Canadian zone was intercepted by Shea Theodore, who made a quick pass up the ice setting Canadian forward Nick Baptiste off on a breakaway. Baptiste Pacl with a high shot, and just like that the Canadians were up 3-0.
Baptiste later had a hand in Canada’s fourth goal, forcing a turnover as the Czechs were taking the puck out of their zone. He passed the puck off to Samuel Bennett who got it to McDavid in front who took care of the rest, bringing the puck away from the sprawling Czech goaltender and slotting it home.
McDavid completed the hat trick minutes later, being on the receiving end of a great effort from linemate Morgan Klimchuk, who while on a two-on-two dangled the puck past a diving Czech defender before making a backhand pass to McDavid who finished the play.
The Newmarket, Canada native now has eight goals in five games, and is emerging as the early MVP favourite at the 2013 U18s.
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