Lukas Jasek had two goals and two assists to lead the Czech Republic to a stunning 4-2 victory against the United States in preliminary-round action of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup tournament Monday at Alcaplast Arena in Breclav.
The Czech Republic, which outshot the United States, 39-24, scored three unanswered power-play goals in the second period to build a 3-1 lead. Jasek had a goal and two assists in the period, when the Czech Republic outshot the U.S. 19-2.
Forwards Brock Boeser of Burnsville High School in Minnesota and Robby Jackson of the Chicago Steel in the United States Hockey League scored the goals for the United States. Boeser, a 6-foot, 187-pound right wing committed to the University of Wisconsin in 2015-16, was named to NHL Central Scouting's Futures List of top prospects eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Fla. Jackson's goal, which pulled the Americans within 3-2, was scored on a penalty shot.
The United States pulled goalie Evan Sarthou of Tri-City in the Western Hockey League with 50 seconds remaining in the third for an extra attacker but Jasek scored into an empty net to close out the scoring.
"What do I think about the game? I hate to lose," United States coach Derek Plante said. "Obviously, we were really excited in the first period. We had some opportunities to score. The second period was tough, there were many penalties from our side. Almost 17 minutes in a penalty box from 20… You do not have much time to create some offense in their zone. We had to play defensively, we capitalized in their power-plays. We rallied, but we could not catch up."
The U.S. will look to rebound Tuesday against Russia at 11:30 a.m. ET. The Czech Republic will face Finland at 1 p.m. ET.
In other preliminary-round action at the Hlinka Memorial Cup:
SWEDEN 6, SLOVAKIA 1: In Group B, defenseman Oliver Kylington was named Sweden's player of the game after scoring a goal and an assist to lead his country at Alcaplast Arena in Breclav, Czech Republic.
Goalie Felix Sandstrom made 18 saves to earn the win. Kylington and Sandstrom were named to NHL Central Scouting's Futures List of top prospects eligible for the 2015 draft in July. Sandstrom plays for Brynas Jr. in Sweden's SuperElite and Kylington earned a spot with Farjestad in the Swedish league after a solid start with the junior team last year.
Sweden will next face Canada on Tuesday at 8 a.m. ET.
FINLAND 5, RUSSIA 2: In Group A, goalie Veini Vehvilainen made 32 saves to help lead the Finns to a 5-2 victory at Zimny Stadion in Slovakia.
Vehvilainen of JYP Jr. in Finland was listed on NHL Central Scouting's Futures List of the top players eligible for the 2015 draft. Top Finnish prospects Sami Tavernier of HIFK Jr. and Sebastian Aho of Karpat Jr. also scored in the victory.
"We are working with a new team and the coaching staff is new as well," Finland coach Mika Marttila said. "That's why we are happy to start with a victory. We hope to do well in other games, too, to build on what we practiced during the summer."
Finland will next play the Czech Republic on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET.
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