Czechia won a surprise 4-2 victory over the previously undefeated United States on Wednesday to secure their ticket to the semifinals of the 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton.
After USA’s Logan Cooley opened the scoring just over 12 minutes into the match, the Czech Republic responded with three straight goals to take control of the game against the defending champions.
Jan Mysak, Petr Hauser, Matyas Sapovaliv and Jiri Kulich all scored for Czechia. Kulich also registered two assists.
Matthew Berard of the US, was given a five-minute major and a match penalty for stepping in the air early in the third period. Czechia could not capitalize on the man advantage.
Later in the third, Stanislav Svozil of Czechia picked up a five-minute major and a match penalty after initiating a knee-to-knee strike with Cooley. The third overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft would remain in the game after the collision.
USA took advantage of the man advantage through Carter Mazur to reduce the deficit to 3-2. Kulich will later add an empty net
Luke Hughes of the United States suffered an apparent lower body injury early in the first period, he left the game and returned for the start of the second period.
Czechia are set to face Canada in the semi-finals on Thursday. Sweden faces Finland in the other semi-final.
Czechia, who have not won a medal at the event since 2005 when they clinched bronze, went 1-0-1-2 in the round-robin phase.