Team Canada is still in the hunt at the 2010 IIHF World Championships, but its road to a possible gold medal became a little harder on Tuesday after a 3-2 loss to the Czech Republic.
The second straight loss for the Canadians (also their third defeat in the last four games) means they will have to face either tournment-favorite Russia or Finland when the quarterfinals begin on Thursday in Germany.
"We're going to have to go through the tough teams eventually," said Canadian forward John Tavares. "In whatever order it is, it doesn't really matter. It's a new slate for everybody, and it's do or die now."
Captain Ray Whitney provided Canada (3-3-0) with a good start against the Czech Republic by scoring the opening goal of the content on the power play in the first period. The Czechs would seize the momentum before the first intermission though, as one-time Lukas Kaspar took a feed from Jiri Novotny to score shorthanded with 1:40 left in the first.
It was all Czech Republic in the middle stanza, as former NHL star Jaromir Jagr and Jakub Klepis each scored to put their team up by two goals after 40 minutes. It proved to be enough for the win, as Canada would only get one goal back from forward Matt Duchene during a wild final two minutes of regulation.
Ducks forward Corey Perry
was on the ice for Duchene's goal and finished the game with a plus-one rating and zero points in 21:35 of ice time. He has totaled six points (two goals, four assists) during Team Canada's six games in the tournament thus far.