Pavel Zacha would miss this game after re-aggravating a lower body injury.
Enter David Pastrnak who has been loaned to the Czechs by the NHL’s Boston Bruins in what could be called a glorified conditioning stint. Except for a 2 game conditioning sting with the Bruins affiliate in the AHL – the Providence Bruins – Pastrnak hasn’t played since late October.
The first period would end with both teams going scoreless. The Czechs dominated in zone time and possession time. They would hold a advantage in shots.
It would be much of the same for most of the second period. The Slovaks would come on but still outshot 13-10, but missed the net time and time again and seemingly couldn’t hit the target.
But then at the 15:11 mark of the second, the Slovaks’ Juraj Siska would take a minor penalty for tripping. Radovan Bondra had a glorious opportunity short handed but was frustrated when Czech goaltender Vitek Vanecek made a fantastic save.
Just moments later, while on the same powerplay, a couple of future Boston Bruins teammates would connect to put the Czechs up for good. Jakub Zboril would take the puck down the left wing boards in the Slovak zone. He would send a pass back to Pastrnak, who was covering for him at the left point. Pastrnak waited, stepped in to the top of the circle, and fired a wrister to the glove side and beat a screened Adam Huska in the Slovak goal.
The Slovaks’ couldn’t muster much offense in the third, firing just six shots on goal. At 11:55 of the period, the Czechs virtually put the game out of reach and a strange goal.
Filip Hronek would send the puck towards the front of the Slovak net. The puck went off Dominik Lakotas‘ skate and then off a Slovak defenders skate and passed Huska. The play would be reviewed and the call on the ice – a good goal – stood.
Both goaltenders were named Player of the Game for their respective clubs.
The Czechs move to 1-1-0 while the Slovaks drop to 1-0-1.