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Francouz, Czech Republic Shut Out Italy

Goaltender posts clean sheet in 2019 World Championship debut

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab /

Czech Republic (8) vs. Italy (0)

Goaltender Pavel Francouz wasn't busy in his debut at the 2019 IIHF World Championship, but he stopped every shot that came his way to help the Czech Republic to its fourth win at the tournament.

The Colorado Avalanche prospect posted a 15-save shutout, and the Czechs defeated Italy 8-0 on Friday at Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The Czech Republic (4-0-0-1) scored four of its eight goals in the second period and outshot the Italians 48-15 in the contest. Michael Frolik of the Calgary Flames (two goals, two assists), Dmitrij Jaskin of the Washington Capitals (two goals, one assist), Dominik Simon of the Pittsburgh Penguins (one goal, one assist), Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers (two assists) and Michal Repik (two assists) all had multi-point outings for Czechia.

Italy (0-0-0-5) has yet to score at the 2019 Worlds.

Francouz joined Team Czech Republic earlier this week after spending time with the Avalanche during the team's playoff run as one of its Black Aces. He is at his sixth career World Championship for his home country.

The Czechs were playing the second half of a back-to-back set after defeating Latvia 6-3 on Thursday. They next play against Austria (0-0-0-5) on Sunday.

Francouz competed in his first season in North America during the 2018-19 campaign with the Avalanche organization. In 49 American Hockey League games with the Colorado Eagles, he posted a 27-17-3 record, 2.68 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and three shutouts while also being named to the AHL All-Star Classic. Francouz appeared in two NHL games with the Avs and stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced.

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