Ontario VS Czech Republic – Exhibition Game – December 28, 2011
Brian Raiger and Kyle Busch will be at the World Under-17 Challenge held in Windsor, ON. Check them out on Twitter (@raiger89 & @KyleBusch11) for the latest updates as well as their blogs on games at the tournament.
Ontario started strong but lost Jordan Maletta of the hometown Windsor Spitfires to an apparent knee injury on a kneeing call to Czech Republic’s Jan Stencel. On the ensuing five minute powerplay, Brent Pedersen scored off of a perfect pass from Stephen Nosad to take a 1-0 lead. But, only 41 seconds later, Adam Zboril sent Patrick Zdrahal in on a breakaway and he beat Brent Martin for a shorthanded tying goal. The period was fast paced, but both sides were getting acquainted with their surroundings. Ontario outshot the Czech’s 12-8 in the first period.
In the first minute Ontario scored twice, with Jordan Subban (brother of Montreal Canadiens defenceman PK Subban) and Brandon Robinson tallying 19 and 44 seconds in. The rest of the period was relatively sloppy, with Zdrahal getting his second of the game to make it 3-2 after two periods. He was very good throughout the game and is the Czech’s best player. During the period, Czech forward, Jiri Kepka was not seen on the ice or bench. He was hit with 3 minutes left in the first period and went to the locker room, but never returned. To end out the second period, the shots were 27-22 for Ontario.
Like the second period, Ontario got a quick jump in the third with Bo Hovart scoring 2:42 into the period. Aside from a few penalties, the period was much like the rest of the game; the teams getting a feeling of competition and playing in front of a crowd. Ontario was able to put in one more goal at the 14:24 mark scored by local boy, Trevor Murphy. The period ended with a few penalties, and the Czech seemed to get more physical near the end due to frustration. At the end of the game, Ontario came up winning with a score of 5-2. The shots were 34-31 in favor of Ontario. The players of the game were: Bo Hovart (1G, 2A) from Ontario, and Patrik Zdrahal (2G) from the Czech Republic.
After seeing Jordan Maletta leave the game, we asked Ontario Head Coach, Troy Smith, what the condition of Maletta is, and whether he will be able to play in tomorrow’s opener against Germany.
“I don’t really know much right now, I mean he left right now for precautionary reasons and he’s going to be evaluated tomorrow and we will see if he does pre-game skate, and hopefully he will be a game time decision. “
Coach Smith went on to say that obviously he wants Maletta in the lineup and for him to play in front of his home crowd (Windsor Spitfires – OHL) but will see how he handles in tomorrow’s skate.
Through the whole game, Ontario was the more physical team. Whether or not Ontario’s physicality will be an asset or a burden (resulting in penalties), coach Smith said this,
“Yah, I think it will be, we got a lot of big boys that can skate. You know I have always been in the mind, under the training of Pete DeBoer and Steve Spott, to get aggressive there on the fore-check, and force teams to make mistakes. I think we let up a little bit, but as the game went on, the guys felt more comfortable on the fore-check and will continue to play hard.”
Team Ontario will start the regular play tomorrow at the WFCU Centre against Germany at 2pm.
Other scores from tonight’s exhibition included:
Germany 3 – West 2
USA 6 – Atlantic 1
Russia 6 – Quebec 0
Sweden vs Pacific (no update)
**Be sure to follow Brian Raiger and Kyle Busch on Twitter for latest updates (@raiger89 & @KyleBusch11). Also check out their latest blog on The Checking Line.**