Canada reaches the semifinals in world juniors with victory over the Czech Republic

EDMONTON – Canada advanced to the semifinals of the youth hockey world championship with a 3-0 victory over the Czech Republic on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Devon Levi made a submission of 29 saves and Dylan Cozens scored a goal and an assist for the host country.

Connor McMichael scored on an empty goal and defender Bowen Byram also scored for Canada at Rogers Place.

The Canadians were waiting for the result of a later quarter-final between the United States and Slovakia to meet their opponent in the semifinals on Monday.

An American victory would cause Canada to face Russia on Monday, but Canadians would tie the Slovaks if they defeated the United States.

Russia reached the semifinals with a 2-1 victory over Germany in the quarter-finals, while Finland defeated Sweden 3-2 to advance.

Canada was the only team to remain unbeaten in the preliminary round with 4-0 to lead Group A. The Czech Republic (2-2) was fourth in Group B.

Nick Malik, who spent part of last season with Sault Ste. From the Ontario Hockey League. Marie Greyhounds, stopped 22 shots in the defeat.

Canada led 2-0 after the first period with goals from co-captains Cozens and Byram.

The host country did not dominate possession of the record, as it did in the 4-1 win over Finland to close the round robin, however.

The Czechs fought hard for the puck to get Canada to chase them and often obstructed the neutral zone to force Canadians to jump and chase.

But Canada’s forecheck in the third period reduced the Czech Republic’s chances of recovery.

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Czech coach Karel Mlejnek summoned Malik to an extra striker with five and a half minutes remaining in the regular game, but McMichael scored an empty goalkeeper at 17:11.

The Czech failed to score a power-play goal with less than two minutes left when Quinton Byfield was penalized for hooking.

Canada overcame the Czechs 11-6 in a second period without goals and without penalties.

With an arduous turnaround, Canadian striker Peyton Krebs avoided a strange Czech chance in a late-term comeback.

Levi played his busiest period of the tournament, stopping all 12 shots he faced in the first.

With eight attempts against Malik in the first half, Canada was defeated in one period for the first time in the tournament.

But seconds after Adam Raska’s interference penalty expired, Byram scored his first goalkeeper of the tournament, hitting Malik’s right armpit at 11:39 am.

Cozens scored Canada’s first goal for the second time in so many games.

Connor McMichael tossed the disk to Cozens on the run. The Buffalo Sabers prospect dug the disc between Malik’s pads at 8:22.

Byram and Cozens are alternating captaincy in the absence of the injured Kirby Dach.

Canada was left without striker Alex Newhook, who injured his shoulder in the game against Finland.

Connor Zary centered a line with wings Krebs and Cole Perfetti in the absence of Newhook, and defender Jordan Spence also tied for the line.

Cozens leads the team with seven goals and six assists in five games.

With 22 points combined in the junior tournaments of 2020 and 2021, Cozens occupies the sixth place of all time for Canada, ahead of John Tavares (20) and behind Jason Allison (24).

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