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Czechia with clear victory against the USA

Czechia and the USA were the two top teams in the A2 pool. The Czechs clearly won 6:0 and finished the group in first place. 

The USA went into the summit clash still unbeaten, but had to concede their first point against Italy yesterday. In their last two games against Switzerland and Finland, the Czech runners-up Champions in 2022 only narrowly escaped ignominy in penalty shoot-outs. So the top game between the Americans and the Czechs was not only about prestige, but also about securing the best starting position for the quarterfinals. 

The quality of both teams was evident right from the start. The game was fast and intense. The Czechs did a little more for the game and also had the better scoring opportunities. After seven minutes, Lhota launched a textbook counter-attack and set up Krucek, who only had to slot into the empty net. Eight seconds before the end of the third period, Cejka increased the lead to 2:0 with a spectacular high corner shot. 

Were the USA able to react? The Americans started the second period with great endeavour and the action increasingly shifted to the Czechs' defensive zone. Blaha made it 3:0 for the Eastern Europeans during a period of pressure from the US team. This prompted the American coach to take a time-out and replace his goalkeeper. In the third period, the Czechs set off an exhibition: With a powerful individual effort, Ceijka again overcame the entire US defence before Laurinc increased the score to 5:0 after a beautiful combination. Ceijak completed his hat-trick with the 6:0. With this clear and deserved victory, the runners-up Champion overtook the Americans in round robin and underlined their ambitions at this year's World Cup. 

Both teams will enjoy a rest day tomorrow. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Thursday. 


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