TORONTO, ON - Leon Draisaitl sniped a breakaway goal, shot blocker side on Petr Mrazek in 3-on-3 overtime, to lift Team Europe to a 3-2 victory over the Czech Republic and a 2-0 start to the World Cup of Hockey.
“We are expecting a dog fight today,” Team Europe Head Coach Ralph Krueger said prior to the start of his team’s game against the winless Czechs.
He was right as the game went right down to the wire. Martin Hanzal tied it up at 2-2 for the Czechs at 8:31 of the third period.
Before that, Team Europe looked like they might close things out in regulation.
Europe had a big chance to take the lead in the second period when they were awarded a penalty shot. Anze Kopitar stepped up as the shooter, but was stopped by Mrazek.
Zdeno Chara opened scoring at 10:05 of the second frame with a shot from outside the circle. At that point in the game, Europe was outshooting the Czechs 24-8.
Jakub Vorachek evened things up with a snipe from the faceoff dot at 13:28 of the second.
At 1:12 of the third, Mrazek made a phenomenal glove save on Roman Josi, but a minute later the Czechs were in trouble. Mats Zuccarello scored on a shot that rolled off Mrazek’s glove and in at 2:17 of the third.
Trailing 2-1, Hanzal potted the equalizer. He screened Mrazek when a shot rebounded off the boards behind the net, picked up the rebound and converted to make it 2-2.
In overtime, Draisaitl came down the ice all alone and bested Mrazek 1-on-1 to give Team Europe a 3-2 win at 2:06 of the extra period.