Canada vs. Czech Republic Odds, Prediction: Men's 2018 Olympic Hockey

Canada vs. Czech Republic Odds, Prediction: Men's 2018 Olympic Hockey”

Petr Koukal and Jan Kovar scored in the shootout to give the Czech Republic a 3-2 win on Saturday and hand two-time defending gold medal victor Canada their first Olympic men's ice hockey loss since the Vancouver Games in 2010.

Maxim Noreau, Canada's fifth shooter, saw his attempt ring off the right post and the sixth-ranked Czech Republic celebrated its dramatic win over the top-ranked Canada.

Canada continued to outshoot the Czechs but could not finish, squandering a two-man advantage late in the second period.

Cho Min-ho took a feed in the slot from Brock Radunske, one of six Canadians on the team, and fired a wrist shot past Czech goalkeeper Pavel Francouz.

The Czechs could clinch a bye into the quarter-finals by beating Switzerland on Sunday, when the Canadians, who could still earn a bye, face a crucial test against South Korea.

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Earlier, Canada had pulled ahead 2-1 on the power play.

Canada have outscored their opponents 11-2 so far and have the competition's second-highest scoring efficiency at 10.68 percent, just behind Switzerland who topped Group B. "It was a good game for us".

But the Czechs wouldn't go away and evened the score only 25 seconds into the second period with Michal Jordan's goal.

Canada coach Willie Desjardins had asked for more consistency from his team and didn't get it. "Lots of parts of our game were good".

The Czechs, who now sit in the pole position to win their group in the tournament's preliminary round, battled back from a pair of one-goal deficits in the first two periods and then persevered under pressure from the Canadians through the third period and overtime to force the shootout. Dominik Kubalik tied things up for the Czechs at 6:52 in the same period.

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It was the Czechs' first Olympic triumph over Canada since 1998 in Nagano - a 2-1 shootout win in the semifinal when coach Marc Crawford famously made a decision to leave Wayne Gretzky on the bench for the shootout.

Ice Hockey - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Men's Preliminary Round Match - Canada v Czech Republic - Gangneung Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea - February 17, 2018 - Rene Bourque of Canada in action during the first period.

Two saves later, Noreau had to score to keep Canada alive. The team also have the top penalty-killing unit, having yet to allow a goal while down a player. Scrivens stopped a shot by Michal Birner, but Jordan grabbed the back before pushing it into the net.

"We were one short today, so that means I've got to be one shot better next time", said Scrivens.

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