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Offensive woes continue for Kaut, Czechs

Offensive woes continue for Kaut, CzechsMartin Kaut and the Czechs fall to fourth in Group B following their 5-1 loss to Shane Bowers and the hosts.

Avalanche first-rounder Martin Kaut were looking to rebound following their loss 2-1 against Russia, featuring fellow Avs prospects Danila Zhuravlyov and GWG scorer Nikolai Kovalenko, but were handed a 5-1 defeat by Shane Bowers and the red-hot hosts, who remain perfect after three games.

The Canadians opened the scoring a little over 6 minutes in the opening frame, only for the Czechs to tie it less than a minute later. The Czechs had several good chances in the first, but were stopped time and time again by Michael DiPietro, who remained perfect for the rest of the game. Czech alternate captain Kaut was handed a boarding minor and 10-minute misconduct midway through the period, with the hosts capitalizing on the ensuing man-advantage and never looking back. Canada added one more tally in the opening period, later adding one in the second and third respectively as well. To make matters worse for the Czechs, aside from the solid DiPietro in the hosts’ net, like Kaut, captain Martin Necas was handed a minor and 10-minute misconduct for checking from behind in the third and Morgan Frost put the Canadians up 5-1 on the resulting power-play, ending the Czechs’ hopes for any kind of comeback. Kaut managed to get a good shot from a sharp angle in the final minutes of regulation, but just like against Russia, his shot only hit iron. His Canadian counterpart Bowers was bumped up to the second line and played over 16 minutes, but was held of the scoresheet and finished the game -1.

Bowers was bumped up to Canada's second line, but failed to get on the scoresheet (Source: Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images) 

Kaut had a tournament-low 14:13 TOI, mainly due to his misconduct in the first period, and finished the night -1. Following the game, the 19-year-old Brno native took partial responsibility for the Czechs’ offensive struggles, saying that him, linemate Necas and fellow AHLer Zadina need to be better. “We’re not playing as well as we should. We played really well the first couple of minutes, but Canada’s first line comes right at you. They dominated,” said Kaut for “We need to score on the power-play. Now, we play in two days and must beat Denmark,” added the young forward. Vaclav Varada’s team now has their work cut out for them, as they fall to fourth in Group B standings, but can still clinch a quarterfinals berth by beating, or even losing to lowly Denmark in OT or a shootout.

Zhuravlyov, Kovalenko and their Russian teammates will look to stay perfect against Switzerland tonight, while like the Czechs, the hosts will be back in action on New Year’s Eve against Russia in a battle for first place in Group B.

Yesterday’s schedule:

Denmark – Switzerland 0:4 (2:0, 1:0, 1:0)

Slovakia – Finland 1:5 (0:2, 1:2, 0:1)

Canada – Czech Republic 5:1 (3:1, 1:0, 1:0) [Martin Kaut and Shane Bowers both without points]

Sweden – USA 5:4 after OT (1:0, 2:0, 1:4, 1:0)

Today’s schedule:

Switzerland – Russia

Kazakhstan – Slovakia

Michal Hezely, Slovakia,
30/12/2018 - 13:30


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