Canada’s Dylan Holloway (10) checks Czech Republic’s David Jiricek (8) during second period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship action in Edmonton on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Canada’s Dylan Holloway (10) checks Czech Republic’s David Jiricek (8) during second period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship action in Edmonton on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Canada blanks Czech Republic 3-0 to reach world junior hockey semifinals

Goalie Devon Levi has 29 saves in shutout win

Canada advanced to the semifinals of the world junior men’s hockey championship with a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic on Saturday in Edmonton.

Goaltender Devon Levi posted a 29-save shutout and Dylan Cozens had a goal and an assist for the host country. Connor McMichael scored into an empty net and defenceman Bowen Byram also scored for Canada at Rogers Place.

Canada will face Russia in one semifinal on Monday, while the U.S. meets Finland.

Russia reached the semifinals with a 2-1 quarterfinal win over Germany, while Finland downed Sweden 3-2 to advance. Canada was the only team to go undefeated in the preliminary round at 4-0 to top Pool A. The Czech Republic (2-2) ranked fourth in Pool B.

Nick Malik, who spend part of last season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, stopped 22 shots in the loss.

Canada led 2-0 after the opening period on goals from co-captains Cozens and Byram.

The host country didn’t dominate puck possession as it did in a 4-1 win over Finland to cap the round-robin, however. The Czechs battled hard for the puck to make Canada chase them, and often clogged the neutral zone to force the Canadians to jump and chase. But Canada’s grinding forecheck in the third period shrunk the Czech Republic’s chances of a comeback.

Czech coach Karel Mlejnek pulled Malik for an extra attacker with five and a half minutes to play in regulation, but McMichael scored an empty-netter at 17:11.

The Czech couldn’t produce a power-play goal with less than two minutes to play when Quinton Byfield was penalized for hooking. Canada outshot the Czechs 11-6 in a scoreless, penalty-free second period. With a hard-working backcheck, Canadian forward Peyton Krebs prevented an odd-man Czech chance off a turnover late in the period.

“It’s a plus for me the way the Czechs play us, the way we played and the way we had to dig in and figure it out,” Canadian head coach Andre Tourigny said. “I think that’s a good thing.”

Levi played his busiest period of the tournament stopping all 12 shots he faced in the first.

“I’m just taking every moment and savouring it because I know this is my last world juniors,” Levi said. “I’m going to be able to look back on this for the rest of my life. I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as I can and I think that really takes the pressure off.”

With eight attempts on Malik in the opening frame, Canada was outshot in a period for the first time in the tournament. But seconds after Adam Raska’s interference penalty expired, Byram scored his first of the tournament squeezing a shot under Malik’s right armpit at 11:39. Cozens scored Canada’s first goal for the second time in as many games.

Connor McMichael flipped the puck up ice to Cozens on a breakaway. The Buffalo Sabres prospect shovelled the puck between Malik’s pads at 8:22.

READ MORE: Canada tops pool at world junior hockey championship with dominant 4-1 win over Finland

Byram and Cozens are alternating the captaincy in the absence of injured Kirby Dach. Canada was minus forward Alex Newhook, who injured his shoulder in the Finland game. Connor Zary centred a line with wingers Krebs and Cole Perfetti in Newhook’s absence, and defenceman Jordan Spence also drew into the lineup. Cozens has a team-leading seven goals and six assists in five games.

With 22 combined points from both the 2020 and 2021 world junior tournaments, Cozens ranks sixth all-time for Canada ahead of John Tavares (20) and behind Jason Allison (24).

THE CANADIAN PRESS

To sign up for the latest news, sports and entertainment headlines, click here.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CanadahockeyIIHF world junior hockey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Les Cleverly, formerly of Grand Forks Fire/Rescue, is suing the city as well as current and former city firefighters over alleged workplace bullying and defamation. File photo.
Former Grand Forks firefighter suing department, city over alleged conspiracy, constructed dismissal

Plaintiff Les Cleverly filed a notice of civil claim with the Supreme Court of BC in last week

(Big White Ski Resort)
28 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

More than 200 cases have been identified since the cluster was announced

The flag that would normally fly at the Grand Forks Legion was cut down early Sunday, Jan. 17, according to Grand Forks RCMP. Photo courtesy of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 059
Flag vandalized at Grand Forks’ Royal Canadian Legion

Grand Forks RCMP said no one saw who cut down the flag Sunday morning, Jan. 17

A map released by the BCCDC Friday, Jan. 15 shows five diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks health area. Photo: Maps: COVID-19 cases in BC, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control website
Five COVID-19 cases reported in Grand Forks area

The BC Centre for Disease Control announced the cases in a weekly update Friday, Jan. 15

A juvenile sturgeon in a B.C. rearing facility. The wild population in the Upper Columbia is estimated at 1,100 individuals, enhanced with roughly 5,500 hatchery fish. (file photo)
B.C.’s Upper Columbia sturgeon endure long battle with local extinction

Decades of monitoring and intervention is ongoing to save the prehistoric fish

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Vancouver Island paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Most Read