After playing the last two days, Mikael Backlund and Team Sweden had today off, but he'll be the only Flame in action tomorrow. This left three Flames to play today, including the second Flame vs. Flame matchup.
Team Canada and Sean Monahan
Good news: Monahan scored his first point of the tournament, and his ice time keeps going up.
Things are going great for Monahan now. Since he earned a regular shift, Team Canada has gone undefeated. Today they defeated the Czechs by a score of 4-3, and Monahan made a tangible impact.
Down 1-0 in the first period, Monahan made a pass out to linemate Joel Ward from the boards, and Ward sniped it home. Monahan's first point of the tournament was a primary assist that saw Team Canada tie the Czechs, and they never fell behind again after that.
Monahan saw the ice for 12:11, almost three minutes more than when he played against Team Slovakia. He played more than his linemate and fellow young player, Jonathan Huberdeau. (He also got more ice time than Cody Hodgson and Nazem Kadri.) His other linemate, Ward, was named Canada's best player of the game.
Monahan generated one shot on net in the third period, where he saw his most significant ice time, including battling to keep Canada's one-goal lead when the Czechs were making a comeback. He also won four of six faceoffs.
To recap Monahan's tournament thus far: over the course of three games, he has gone from being Team Canada's 13th forward to getting a regular shift, including when the game is close, and playing more than 10 minutes. He's trending up. Everything is awesome!
Team Czech Republic and Jiri Hudler
Bad news: Jiri Hudler took a penalty with 25 seconds to go, ending the Czechs' comeback against Canada.
Good news: He was a big part of that comeback to begin with.
Down 4-1 late in the third, Hudler set up teammate and fellow Jiri, Jiri Novotny (Jiri line forever!!), to bring the Czechs up to 4-2. Almost immediately after he drew a penalty on Canada's Jason Garrison, and Tomas Hertl scored on the powerplay to pull the Czechs within one.
That was as far as the Czechs got, but Hudler did a lot to bring them there.
Hudler played 15:03 this game, sixth out of all Czech forwards. He had just one shot on net.
It's worth noting that former Hudler linemate and old friend Roman Cervenka was named the Czechs' best player of the game, scoring their first goal and getting four shots on net, the most out of everyone on his team. Cervenka wasn't so bad.
Team USA and Johnny Gaudreau
Bad news: The Americans got thrashed 6-1 by the Russians today, so Johnny probably wasn't having a lot of fun.
Good news: Gaudreau was on the ice for the one goal the Americans scored. He was in front of the net with Justin Abdelkader, tied up by a Russian player. (The goal was a tipped Jeff Petry point shot.)
Johnny Hockey is still Johnny Hockey, but not even Johnny Hockey can be amazing all the time. Gaudreau had just one shot on net and saw little of the ice in the third period, ending up with 14:51 total ice time, fifth out of all American forwards. There were no goals in the third period; the blowout was pretty much completed by then. He was on the ice for only one goal against: one of the least victimized Americans.