February 24, 2018 / 2:48 PM / 3 months ago

Olympics-Ice hockey-Canadian men beat Czechs to claim bronze

GANGNEUNG, South Korea, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Andrew Ebbett scored twice as Canada beat the Czech Republic 6-4 on Saturday to claim bronze in the men’s Olympic ice hockey tournament.

With the win, the Canadians have now earned a hockey medal in three straight Winter Olympics, although Saturday’s bronze will look dull in their eyes next to the golds they captured in Sochi and Vancouver.

It left them wondering where that goal production had been in Friday’s stunning 4-3 loss to Germany which eliminated them from a run at a third straight gold. The Germans face the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) in Sunday’s gold-medal game, the final title being awarded in the Pyeongchang Games.

Both teams came alive midway through the first period and they traded three goals in the space of about half a minute.

Canada jumped out first on the power play when Mat Robinson chipped a puck in front of the Czech net and it ricocheted off several sticks, including Ebbett’s, and dribbled through Pavel Francouz’s pads into the net.

The Czechs answered 16 seconds later when Martin Ruzicka scored on a rebound given up by Canadian goaltender Kevin Poulin to even it at 1-1.

Sixteen seconds after that, Chris Kelly redirected a shot from the blue line by Cody Goloubef.

Later in the period, Derek Roy slid a soft backhander between Francouz’s legs off a feed from Brandon Kouzon to put the Canadians up 3-1.

The teams scored in bunches again in the third period, with three goals coming in under four minutes and the Canadians capturing the larger share once more.

First Canada’s Bennett picked up his second of the night, tipping a pass from Brandon Kozun into the Czech net to make it 4-1. Less then a minute later, Jan Kovar snapped a loose puck past Poulin on the stick side to bring the Czechs back to within two goals.

Three minutes after that it was the Canadian captain Chris Kelly who lasered a snap shot into the Czech goal to make it 5-2.

The Canadian’s final goal was scored by Wojtek Wolski, who smashed home a loose puck that had been bouncing around the Czech goalmouth.

Roman Cervenka added two late goals for the Czechs but they were not enough. (Editing by Clare Fallon)

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