Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Czech Republic advances to semifinals

BUFFALO - The Czech Republic isn't done yet.

Ostap Safin, Radim Salda and the Czechs have advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship thanks to a 4-3 shootout win over Finland on Tuesday afternoon.

The Czechs will play Canada in Thursday's semifinal.

Safin, who was placed on the team's fourth line, played just six total minutes on Tuesday and didn't take a single shift in the third period or overtime, according to the IIHF box score. He was held off the scoresheet and did not record a shot on net.

Salda, meanwhile, registered one shot in 26:11 of ice time.

Filip Zadina of the Halifax Mooseheads was the hero on Tuesday, scoring twice in the game. The 2018 NHL Draft prospect has five goals and an assist in five games.

Neither the Czechs nor the Finns had a great tournament heading into Tuesday's match, but this will go down as an upset. The Czechs will obviously need to play a spectacular game on Thursday to advance to Friday's gold medal game. Canada defeated the Czech Republic 9-0 in pre-tournament play - although the Czechs did not have their fill lineup for that contest.

Photo: IIHF

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