Team Canada loses to Czechs in 3-2 shootout thriller

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The Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation scored a 4-0 men's hockey victory over the United States on Saturday to win Group B at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Team Canada's feel-good opening run at the Pyeongchang Olympics hit a road bump Saturday in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Czech Republic.

Make no mistake - the host team is being given virtually no chance of even keeping this one close. Didn't take long before Czech squad had tied it all up from a goal Dominik Kubalik who was caught Chris Lee napping and beat Scrivens. With the Canadians seeking a major bounceback from their disappointing loss, this one should be decided early.

This fight was more intense and more physical than when winning at 5-1 in the Canada against Switzerland, as the curtain rises.

Goalie Pavel Francouz was the star as the Czech Republic edged the Canadians 3-2.

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

Russian Federation wouldn't sit back to start the third period either, 28 seconds in Slava Voynov with an incredible pass from Russia's blueline to Kovi who was going in full speed to make it 4-0. On Thursday the Americans put 45 shots on goal and came away with one score. The Canadians would have to hope to be the best second-place team to join them there or else play a qualification playoff game Tuesday.

Those two teams were stuffed with top NHL talent, but this year's team is largely a mix of former NHL players and pros from other leagues because the NHL is not sending players to the Games for the first time since 1994.

But the closer the game got to overtime, the more the intensity increased as desperation ruled.

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Canada retook the lead at 13:30 of the first when Bourque picked up the rebound of a Maxim Noreau point shot and swiped it past Francouz on the power play for his third at the Games.

They tied the game 1-1 at 6:52 of the first when Scrivens deflected a centring attempt up in the air, Lee couldn't corral the bouncing puck and Kubalik pounced on it and slipped it home.

The Czech team next face Switzerland in the final game of the preliminary round on Sunday.

Roy opened up the Czech defence with a nifty rush.

Russian Federation massively outplayed the opponent all through the period and managed to score a goal doubling their lead, 2-0 as Prokhorkin scored his second of the game. Scrivens stopped a shot by Michal Birner, but Jordan grabbed the back before pushing it into the net.

The Canadians upped their physical game in the second period, flooring several Czechs.

Forward Andrew Ebbett limped off midway through the third, favouring his leg after being sandwiched by a pair of Czechs near centre ice.

Canada had won the last five meetings with the Czech Republic and eight of the last 10.

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