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Canada beats Czechs 3-2, remains undefeated at U18 world hockey championship

04/19/2015 03:40 EDT | Updated 07/08/2015 05:59 EDT
ZUG, Switzerland - After watching his team struggle through the first period against the Czech Republic, Canada coach Tim Hunter felt his top players could still come through.

They didn't let him down.

Anthony Beauvillier scored his second goal of the game on a third-period power play and Zachary Sawchenko made 43 saves as Canada beat the Czech Republic 3-2 Sunday at the world under-18 hockey championship.

Beauvillier and linemate Mathew Barzal, who assisted on both goals, played a huge role inCanada's win despite struggling defensively early in the game.

"We weren't competing really hard in the first period, that's why they had 20 shots," Hunter said. "We started to compete harder as we went along and I said in the third, 'You just got to dig in, be a little harder in the corners for pucks,' and we did we got some results. We drew a penalty and our power play came up big, and that line was minus-2.

"You've got to keep giving skilled players the opportunity to make a difference and they did. They were urgent and they got the job done."

The Czechs dominated early in the game, but Sawchenko kept Canada in it by making some big saves. That came as no surprise to Hunter, who coaches Sawchenko's junior team, the Western Hockey League's Moose Jaw Warriors.

"We got the lead and we kept the lead. Sawzy had to make a few saves and he's calm and cool back there and I'm used to seeing him," Hunter said.

Parker Wotherspoon also scored for Canada, which improved to 3-0 at the tournament.

Pavel Zacha and Radek Koblizek scored for the Czechs (1-2), who led twice in the game but couldn't hold on for the win.

Czech goaltender Ales Stezka made 22 saves.

Canada faces Finland on Tuesday, with the winner finishing first in Group B heading into the playoffs.

"They are a really strong team as well, just like the Czechs," Hunter said of the Finns. "They have some good 16-year-old underage hockey players as well, and good goaltending, big bodies and some skill.

"We'll have to play a diligent defensive game, kill penalties well and hopefully get a couple of power-play opportunities."

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