Canada tops Czechia, will face Finland in quarterfinals
RIGA, Latvia — Tyler Myers scored the winning goal just over four minutes into the third period as Canada ended preliminary-round play at the men's world hockey championship Tuesday with a 3-1 win over Czechia.
Peyton Krebs and Lawson Crouse, into an empty net, also scored for Canada. Scott Laughton had two assists, while Samuel Montembeault faced just 17 shots.
"We really set the tone and established the way we wanted to play in the first period," Krebs said." "We got away from that a bit in the second, but we dialed things back in the third and found a way to put the puck in the net.
"That has been a bit of a missing ingredient for us in this tournament, but we got a big goal (from Myers)."
Martin Kaut replied for Czechia, which got 41 saves from Karel Vejmelka.
Canada finished second in Group B with 15 points (four regulation wins, one overtime win, one overtime loss, one regulation loss), two more than the Czechs.
Czechia fell to fourth place after co-host Latvia handed Switzerland its first loss with a 4-3 overtime win. Latvia and Czechia both finished with 13 points, but Latvia had more wins.
The Canadians entered Tuesday's contest on a two-game losing streak, falling 3-2 to Switzerland and 3-2 in a shootout to Norway.
“The past two games did not go the way we wanted, so we wanted to play a hard game tonight and play well defensively," Canada head coach André Tourigny said.
"I am certainly happy about the progression of our team. We were strong on the forecheck and won a lot of battles. We were not as good as we needed to be in the second period, but we came back strong in the third."
Switzerland clinched top spot in the group with 19 points from six regulation victories and Tuesday's overtime loss.
Canada will face defending champion and co-host Finland, which was locked into third in Group A heading into Tuesday's games, in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The Finns finished their preliminary round with a 7-1 rout of Denmark.
“(Finland) plays a really hard game and they are not going to give you much, so we are going to have to work hard for every inch on the ice," Myers said. "It's going to be fun playing against the Finns in Finland because we know the arena is going to be buzzing.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 23, 2023.