Team Canada stunned by the Czechs in the World Juniors

World Juniors
(Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

The World Juniors Championship has returned once more and no it is not in the middle of the summer this time.

The holiday tradition will take place in the frigid cities of Halifax and Moncton in the beloved country of Canada.

Leading the World Junior Championship in all-time securing gold medals with 19, team Canada always outshines the rest as elite players like Wayne Gretzky, Sydney Crosby, and Connor McDavid have swept through the World Juniors representing the prestigious maple leaf on the front of the Canadian sweater.

The Seattle Kraken rookie, Shane Wright (2022 NHL Draft Pick Round 1, Pick 4) and Connor Bedard (#1 Prospect in the 2023 NHL Draft) are the top dogs in this year’s Canadian lineup. 

As expected, the hosts were favored to roll through their first game against the Czechs but the boys represented the blue and white well, they traveled all this way to play for something. They won’t leave without a fight. The Czechs went down early as Shane Wright got the Canadians on the board first.

It was a matter of time before David Spacek reengaged the Europeans as he found a way to put the puck past Benjamin Gaudreau, knotting the game at one apiece.  A little over a minute later, David Moravec gave the Czechs their first lead of the night. This was not the biggest margin the Canadiens would see though, the second period made its presence and Canada found itself down 3-1 less than a minute in.

The number one prospect in the 2023 NHL draft, Connor Bedard, did something everyone expected him to do, score. The 17-year-old North Vancouver native put the mighty Canadiens within one.

Less than ten minutes later Jaroslav Chmelar buried the hosts’ dreams of a comeback as he lit the lamp and quieted the home crowd.

The Czechs would not stop there as Matous Mensik wanted to join the fun. He scored the fifth and final goal on Gaudreau and forced Canada’s head coach, Dennis Williams, to put Thomas Milic between the pipes to close the game.

The home Canadien fans were gifted with an opening-day loss this year. Perhaps they were naughty this holiday season?

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