WJC: Czech Rep 5 Belarus 3

If not for Belarus goaltender Ivan Kulbakov, the score could have been much worse. The Czech’s outshot Belarus 49-24. Belarus tried to hang in there, but will now play in the relegation round.

The Czech’s would score first 11:48 into the period. From a defensive zone faceoff, Simon Stransky put the puck past the Belarus defender at his own blue line, picked it up himself and skated in on a 2 on one with Radek Vesely. Stransky would hold on for as long as he could and fired the game’s first goal behind Vitek Vanecek.

Belarus would tie the game at one just 43 seconds into the second. Artemi Chernikov would skate into the Czech zone and pull up just inside the zone. He sent a perfect pass Stepan Falkovski coming down the middle. He took a couple of strides and put the shot past Kulbakov for the equalizer.

Belarus would take a 2-1 lead at 10:26 of the period with a powerplay goal. The puck would come back to Falkovski at the right point. He would send a pass in front to Danila Karaban he would redirect it on goal. Vanecek could not control the rebound and Yegor Sharangovich was on the door step to bang home the rebound.

The Czechs would tie the game exactly two minutes later. From the right point, David Pastrnak fired a wrister that was deflected past Kulbakov by Dominik Lakatos. The play would be reviewed to see if Lakatos’ stick was above the cross bar, but the call on the ice stood and was deemed a good goal.

Belarus would regain the lead at 17:31 of the period. The puck would end up at the left point where Captain Vladislav Goncharov would fire a one-timer on the powerplay for the go ahead goal.

The Czechs would once again tie the game 2:06 into the third. A hot from the point was stopped by Kulbakov. All 5 Belarus players would collapse in front of him. The puck would end up on the stick of Michael Spacek but his shot was stopped by Kulbakov. But the puck lay loose behind him in the crease and Jiri Smejkal would bang it home.

Radek Vesely would give the Czechs the lead 14:20 into the third. Vesely would hold the puck on the right boards, move towards the slot and fired a wrister threw a maze of bodies and just inside the far post for the goal ahead goal.

Dominik Masin would seal the victory with an empty net goal with 20 seconds remaining.

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