Canada survived a scrappy Czech Republic squad and has advanced to the World Junior semifinals against Sweden thanks to a 5-3 victory.
Hurricanes first-round draft pick Julien Gauthier had a pair of goals while goaltender Connor Ingram saved 16 shots in the victory.
The Czechs struck first after a rebound struck off a linesman in front and bounced right to David Kase. The Flyers prospect whacked home the rebound between the arm and leg of Canadian goaltender Connor Ingram.
The goal was Kase’s second of the tournament.
Canada tied the game, 1-1, almost four minutes into the second period. Blake Speers tipped home a centering feed from Mitchell Stephens after the Czechs turned the puck over in their own zone.
Speers game tying goal pic.twitter.com/8LrCjrFs8T— GIF Grand Maester (@myregularface) January 3, 2017
Stephens then gave Canada their first lead of the night four minutes later on a shot right off the face off that beat a surprised Jakub Skarek.
The back and forth continued, however, as the Czechs tied the score at 2-2 with a goal a minute later. Tomas Soustal toe-dragged around a sliding Canadian defender and put one past Ingram low glove side for the equalizer.
Soustal goal, 2-2 pic.twitter.com/BM3fU2YzOf— GIF Grand Maester (@myregularface) January 3, 2017
The wild second period ended with Thomas Chabot pulling moves of his own through the Czech defense to give the Canadians the lead once more.
Chabot has had a point in every game for Canada in the tournament thus far.
Great play by Chabot to give Canada a 3-2 lead. pic.twitter.com/9kTuJxqaPR— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) January 3, 2017
The third period saw Canada and the Czech Republic trade goals once again. Gauthier had a pair, putting the Canadians up by two goals twice in the early stages. The first goal put Canada up 4-2 was a nice finish in close off a pass behind the net, and the second off a rebound from an identical spot in front of Skarek.
Between those, Simon Stransky made it a one-goal game after a rebound off a spinning shot careened right to the forward. The work was ultimately outdone by Gauthier’s second that made it 5-3 less than a minute later.