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World Cup Game Recap

Team Europe defeats Team Czech Republic in OT

Puts Team USA in must-win situation Tuesday

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Team Europe continued its surprising impact on the World Cup of Hockey 2016 with a 3-2 overtime win against Team Czech Republic at Air Canada Centre on Monday.

The win put Team Europe (2-0-0) on top of Group A and forced Team USA (0-1-0) into a must-win situation against Team Canada (1-0-0) on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN, SN, TVA Sports). If Team USA does not win Tuesday, it cannot reach the semifinal.

Leon Draisaitl scored his second goal of the tournament on a breakaway at 2:06 of the 3-on-3 overtime.

"To be quite honest with you, I was about 90 percent sure he was going to score," Team Europe forward Anze Kopitar said. "The way he's going right now, there's not a whole lot of people who can stop him. I hope he keeps playing like this for us."

With a final preliminary-round game left against Team Canada on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN, TVA Sports), Team Europe is in a strong position to advance to the playoff round.

Video: EUR@CZE: Zuccarello's shot gets by Mrazek

And though pleased with what his team has done, Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger is looking ahead.

"I think it's quite a historic three days for this group, coming in here as 33-to-1 longshots for the Las Vegas bookies, it's a lot of fun," Krueger said. "The guys never saw that as a hurdle. They always believed they'd have a shot at where we are today.


Team Czech Republic defenseman Jakub Nakladal had the hardest shot on goal (94 mph) of any player in the game Monday.


"Probably nobody outside of our room did. I'm just so proud of the way the players have come together in this short period of time. They're representing their countries on their arms … there's just complete buy-in. I've never experienced anything quite like this as a coach in 25 years of head coaching, where a group just bought in so quickly and sacrificed for each other. We're tight and we're not done."

Team Czech Republic (0-1-1) has one point and needs help to get into a possible tiebreaker. It plays Team USA on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN, TVA Sports).

Video: EUR@CZE: Chara beats Mrazek up high

Team Europe outshot Team Czech Republic 41-30 and never trailed. It led twice on goals from Zdeno Chara and Mats Zuccarello.

Team Czech Republic answered on goals from Jakub Voracek and Martin Hanzal.


Goal of the game:

At 2:06 of the overtime, Zuccarello controlled the puck after Team Czech Republic was pressing and then led Draisaitl with a pass through the neutral zone. Draisaitl, the 20-year-old from Germany, buried a hard, low shot past Team Czech Republic goalie Petr Mrazek.

Video: EUR@CZE: Draisaitl buries breakaway for OT winner


Save of the Game:

Mrazek was mostly brilliant on Monday and made 38 saves, including 20 in the second period. With Team Europe on a 5-on-3 power play early in the third, Kopitar had the puck high in the slot and faked a slap shot before passing to his right to teammate Roman Josi. Mrazek bit on Kopitar's fake, but had enough balance to slide to his left and snag Josi's one-timer with his trapper, stealing what appeared to be a sure goal into a wide-open net.

Video: EUR@CZE: Mrazek makes a sprawling glove save


Unsung moment of the game:

Team Czech Republic brought more of an edge to this game than in its 6-0 loss to Team Canada, but there wasn't enough consistency to that kind of energy. Still, the team battled hard to the finish and rallied twice when Team Europe took leads. Center Martin Hanzal's goal on the power play with 11:29 left in regulation - a quick return of a wide point-shot rebound off the backboard - was the spark that got his team to overtime.

Video: EUR@CZE: Hanzal ties the game on the power play


Highlight of the game:

Despite muffing Zuccarello's wrist shot early in the third period, a goal that gave Team Europe a 2-1 lead, Mrazek made numerous remarkable saves that included a penalty shot by Kopitar, recovering from being out of position behind his net to stop Pierre-Edouard Bellemare's rebound try, his five-bell save on Josi and a late-game left-pad stop on Thomas Vanek that kept the game tied.

Video: EUR@CZE: Mrazek shuts five-hole on Kopitar


They said it

"It (the mood postgame) is not great. We lost two games and we don't have much of a chance right now to go to the semis. We've got to hope that Canada loses twice, which is going to be really hard, but there's still a chance, so we have to hope." -- Team Czech Republic forward Martin Hanzal

"If you look at the game as a whole, our best shift was right after they scored their first goal. I'm a little bit disappointed in that first half. Afterward, we were always behind the eight-ball. That's not what we wanted." -- Team Czech Republic assistant coach Vinny Prospal

"This is really not luck. I thought at 30-13 shots after two periods we were playing a (heck) of a game and deserved to have a bigger lead, but we didn't have it. That 2-2 goal didn't fold us, didn't crack us. We stayed with it, and Draisaitl was able to put the icing on the cake." -- Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger


Need to Know:

Team Europe's power play is 0-for-10 in the tournament after going 0-for-6 on Monday. Krueger said the team will continue to work on second chances but the scheme is made more difficult because it's using nine left-handed shots out of the 10 players on its power-play units. … Team Europe's Marian Gaborik led his team with seven shots on goal. … Team Europe's ice time leaders were Josi (28:06) and Kopitar (23:53). Martin Hanzal (23:50) led Team Czech Republic.

Video: EUR@CZE: Voracek scores with a quick release


What's next?

Team Europe: Plays Game 3 of the preliminary round on Wednesday against Team Canada (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN, TVA Sports).

Team Czech Republic: Plays Game 3 of the preliminary round on Thursday against Team USA (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN, TVA Sports). That will be the final game of the preliminary round.

Video: Recap: Draisaitl nets OT winner to propel Team Europe

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