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Canada vs. Czechia final score, results: Defending World Juniors champions lose 2023 opener

The crowd in Halifax was left stunned Monday night as Canada dropped its 2023 World Juniors opener 5-2 to Czechia. 

The defending World Juniors champions had high expectations placed on them; there was talk that the 2023 squad was one of the best in the tournament’s history. That conversation ended before it could get started as Canada put together a subpar performance to begin the competition. 

Canada jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to a power-play goal by captain Shane Wright, but two goals 33 seconds apart in the final minutes of the opening frame gave Czechia a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

MORE: Watch the 2023 World Juniors live with fuboTV (free trial, U.S. only)

Czechia kept the momentum going in the second as Stanislav Svozil scored 44 seconds in. However, Connor Bedard made it a one-goal contest with a response 45 seconds later. 

A Zach Dean major penalty resulted in a five-minute power play for Czechia, and it ended up getting goals from Jaroslav Chmelar and Matous Mensik to extend its lead to 5-2. Czechia locked down on defense and cruised the rest of the way. 

Benjamin Guadreau struggled in net in his World Juniors debut for Canada. He was pulled halfway through the second period after allowing five goals on 17 shots. Tomas Suchanek was sensational at the other end, finishing the game with 36 saves. 

This was the first win for Czechia over Canada since 2014. While it’s still early in the tournament, the win gives Czechia the inside track to earn the No. 1 spot in Group A. 

Canada has a day off to regroup before it faces Germany on Wednesday. 

MORE: Team Canada roster, schedule for 2023 World Juniors

The Sporting News provided live updates and highlights from the Canada-Czechia matchup at the 2023 World Juniors.

Canada vs. Czechia score

  1 2 3 OT F
Canada 1 1 0 2
Czechia 2 3 0 5

Canada vs. Czechia live updates, highlights from 2023 World Juniors

(All times Eastern.)

Final: Czechia 5, Canada 2

9:13 p.m. — Czechia defeats Canada 5-2 to begin the World Juniors. All that excitement and hype for this 2023 Canada team proved to be futile in the opener. Multiple defensive mistakes, poor goaltending and a momentum-changing major penalty result in the opening loss for Canada. Czechia was expected to be a contender for the podium, and it showed. 

9:11 p.m. — Another penalty to Canada, as Brandt Clarke is called for tripping. A necessary penalty to take as a Czech forward was about to break loose into the neutral zone all alone with the empty net on the other end. 

9:07 p.m. — Dennis Williams is pulling the goalie with three and a half left in the third. Desperation time for Canada. 

9 p.m. — Another Canada penalty, as Gaucher is called for slashing the stick out of Jakub Brabenec’s hands. A weak-ish call, but one nonetheless. Time is running out and Canada is not doing themselves any favors by playing a man down.

8:56 p.m. — Canada kills off the Fantilli penalty. No real chance for the Czechs, but it kills time off the clock. 

8:53 p.m. — Czechia heads back on the power play as Fantilli gets two minutes for tripping. The Canadians have done themselves no favors by taking too many penalties tonight. Czechia is 2-for-5 on the man advantage. 

8:50 p.m. — Bedard flies through the Czech blue line, but ends up crashing into Suchanek and the Czechs don’t like it all. No penalties on the play. 

8:45 p.m. — Czechia kills off the Rysavy penalty. Just one shot on goal for Canada on that power play. Bedard fired off multiple shots but Czechia did an excellent job disrupting the attempts. 

8:42 p.m. — Early chance for Canada in the third as Martin Rysavy trips up Colton Dach. Canada goes to their third power play of the game. 

8:41 p.m. — Canada is pushing the pace of play, as expected, to start the third. A nifty saucer pass from Bedard to Tyson Hinds gives the defender a great look in the slot, but Suchanek makes the glove save. 

8:38 p.m. — The third period is underway, gut-check time for Canada. 

End of second period: Czechia 5, Canada 2

8:19 p.m. — Strong finish to the period for Canada, but the bounces aren’t going their way and Czechia remains in front 5-2 after 40 minutes. The Dean penalty was a momentum-killer, but Canada just cannot buy a goal right now. 

8:12 p.m. — Back to even strength as Canada kills off the Gaucher penalty. Lots of special teams units being used in this middle frame. 

8:08 p.m. — Canada’s power play is over as Gaucher is called for tripping Jiricek. It’ll be 4 on 4 for 27 seconds before Czechia goes back to the power play. 

8:08 p.m. — My, oh my, Tomas Suchanek. Multiple saves by the Czech goalie keeps it a three-goal game. A stopped Dylan Guenther on a one-timer on the short side, and then made a sensational diving stop on a Brennan Othmann chance at the back door. 

8:06 p.m. — Canada gets a power play as after a scrum in front, only Tomas Hamara is handed a penalty. He appeared to rip Joshua Roy’s helmet off and his stick hit the bare head of Roy. A chance for Canada to gain back some momentum. 

8:04 p.m. — You can sense the frustration from Canada. Players looking to land big hits on the Czechs and scrums after the whistle. 

8:02 p.m. — The Dean major finally ends, but the damage is done. Czechia gets two goals on the man advantage to build a three-goal lead. Things have quickly gotten out of hand for Canada in the second, but there is still half of the game to be played. 

8 p.m. — GOAL! Another one for the Czechs. Just 33 seconds after Chmelar’s goal, Matous Mensik beats Gaudreau off the rush. A bad goal allowed by Gaudreau, and his night is done. Thomas Milic comes in for Canada. It’s 5-2 Czechia with 11:12 left and still 30 seconds left on the major. A deep hole for Canada to climb out of. 

7:58 p.m. — GOAL! Czechia gets a goal on the five-minute power play as Jaroslav Chmelar is left open in front of the net for the tap-in. Smart play by Jiricek to scan and see Chmelar in front as he was retrieving the puck in the corner. 

7:51 p.m. — The five-minute major is upheld and Dean’s night is done, as a game misconduct automatically goes with major penalties. Again, in non-IIHF play, that may not even be called a penalty, but hits to the head are assessed differently in international hockey. A five-minute power play upcoming for Czechia. 

7:48 p.m. — High hit by Zach Dean on Ales Cech is going to result in a penalty. He gets his hands right in the face of Cech. He’s getting called for a five-minute major, but the officials will review the call to see if it stands, or if it is reduced to a minor. IIHF has tougher rules on hits to the head, so we’ll see what is assessed. 

7:47 p.m. — Svozil throws it back by throwing the hip on Fantilli in the slot for a perfectly executed hip check. 

7:43 p.m. — GOAL! Canada makes it a one-goal game again as Bedard scores 45 seconds after the Svozil goal. A turnover by the Czechs in the neutral zone allowed the speedy winger to collect the puck and get into the offensive zone untouched. A Czech defenseman actually got a piece of Bedard’s shot, making it harder for Suchanek. 3-2 Czechia leads now a minute and a half into the second. 

7:40 p.m. — GOAL! Czechia needs just 44 seconds to get on the board again, as Stanislav Svozil walks in all alone from the left point and rips one by Gaudreau. Miscommunication by Canada’s forwards opens up the space for Svozil. Not the start Canada wanted to the second as Czechia keeps the momentum going from the end of the first, 3-1 Czechia. 

7:39 p.m. — The second period is a go. 

End of first period: Czechia 2, Canada 1

7:21 p.m. — Despite controlling a majority of play, Canada finds themselves down 2-1 after 20 minutes. A short lapse of defensive play at the end of the period results in two goals in the back of their net. Czechia responded well after the Clarke goal was waived off, which would have given Canada the 2-0 lead. 

7:19 p.m. — GOAL! Czechia strikes again, as a clean faceoff play in the offensive zone results in a goal by David Moravec from the point. Bedard didn’t get in the shooting lane in time and just like that, Czechia has the lead with two goals 35 seconds apart. 

7:16 p.m. — GOAL! Czechia ties the game as Spacek cuts to the back door and snaps the puck into a wide open net. You could see that one coming, as Canada got stuck in their own zone for an extended time. Really good cycle by the Czechs and they are rewarded with the goal. Adam Fantilli had Spacek covered at the point, but was late reacting to him once the Czech defender committed to the back door. 

7:12 p.m. — No penalty on the play, but Canada not happy with Sztruc as he gets his stick in the face of Gaudreau. 

7:09 p.m. — No goal, as the play is deemed offsides. The correct call to make on the play. Czechia keeps it a one-goal game with the successful challenge. 

7:07 p.m. — Brandt Clarke appears to have temporarily given Canada a 2-0 lead, but Czechia is challenging for offsides. It looks like Joshua Roy may not have kept his foot in the neutral zone before the puck crossed over the blue line. 

7:06 p.m. — Another Michigan attempt, as this time it’s Bedard trying to sneak it by the ear for Suchanek, but he is denied. it’s only a matter of time before he see one go in. 

6:58 p.m. — GOAL! The captain strikes first, as Shane Wright gets a piece of an Olen Zellweger shot and it goes through the wickets of Suchanek. Wright was calling for the tip as he was in the slot and Zellweger puts it in a great spot for the deflection. A successful power play and Canada leads 1-0 with 9:37 left in the period. 

6:55 p.m. — Penalty coming to Czechia as Gabriel Sztruc is called for goalie interference. He clipped Gaudreau’s foot, spinning the goaltender out of position. The referee already his arm up before the puck was whacked in, so no goal either for Czechia. 

6:53 p.m. — Connor Bedard sends Brennan Othmann in all alone on Suchanek, but he over-stick handles and the puck rolls off his blade and into the corner. 

6:52 p.m. —  Canadians kill off the Dean penalty, back to even strength. 

6:50 p.m. — Czechia is heading to the power play as Zack Dean is called for slashing. 

6:49 p.m. — This forward group for Canada is exactly as advertised – they’re fast, they’re skilled and they want defenses to chase them around the offensive zone. 

6:46 p.m. — We’ve got our first Michigan attempt! Adam Fantilli gets the puck up on his stick, but David Spacek successfully knocks the puck off his stick before he can get it on Suchanek. We saw Kent Johnson pull it off in the summer, and three or four tries in the pre-tournament ganmes. 

6:43 p.m. — A really bad change by Czechia allows Zack Ostapchuk to race in alone on Tomas Suchanek. He tried to slip it through five-hole and had his hands up in the air thinking he scored, but Suchanek squeezes his legs for the stop. 

6:40 p.m. — Puck is down and the quest to repeat as gold medalists has begun for Canada. 

Pregame

6:10 p.m. — Lineups for Czechia and Canada. The Canadians rolling with the same combinations as we saw in the exhibition contests. Jiricek officially in for the Czechs. 

5:15 p.m. — David Jiricek, with all of his gear, will be active tonight for Czechia. He was delayed in getting to Halifax and his gear was lost in transition. He skated for the first time with Czechia earlier this morning without his normal gear. Jiricek went No. 6 at the draft this past summer to the Blue Jackets and his absence against Canada would have been a major loss for Czechia. 

5 p.m. — Benjamin Gaudreau gets the start in net for the opening game against Czechia. Canada does not have a clear No. 1 between him and Thomas Milic, but Gaudreau will get the first chance in net. 

What channel is Canada vs. Czechia on today?

  • Canada: TSN 1/4/5
  • United States: NHL Network

TSN has all the World Juniors action in Canada. In the United States, viewers can find the games on NHL Network.

Gord Miller and Mike Johnson are on the call live from the Maritimes. James Duthie, Bob McKenzie and Cheryl Pounder will provide analysis during intermissions.  

How to live stream World Juniors hockey games

Fans in Canada can stream all World Juniors games at TSN.ca or the TSN app.

U.S. fans can stream the tournament on fuboTV (free trial), NHL.tv or the NHL app.

Canada vs. Czechia odds

  • Canada: -2.5 (-159)
  • Czechia: +2.5 (+115)
  • O/U: 6.5

According to Sports Interaction, Canada is a 2.5-goal favorite on the puckline for the contest against Czechia at the World Juniors. 

Canada World Juniors schedule 2023

(All times Eastern)

Date Opponent Result Time (ET) TV Info
Dec. 26 Czechia 6:30 p.m.  TSN, NHLN
Dec. 28 Germany 6:30 p.m.  TSN, NHLN
Dec. 29 Austria 6:30 p.m.  TSN, NHLN
Dec. 31 Sweden 6:30 p.m. TSN, NHLN
Jan. 2 TBD (Quarterfinals) TBD  TSN, NHLN
Jan. 4 TBD (Semifinals) TBD  TSN, NHLN
Jan. 5 TBD (Gold-Medal Game) TBD  TSN, NHLN


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