Hajek, Libor

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 1-5-18

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Bronze Medal Game
Czech Republic 3 vs USA 9

D Libor Hajek, CZE: 0-1-1, -5, 0 PIM, 3 SOG, *CZE Player of the Game*
Tournament Totals: 7 GP, 1-7-8, E, 6 PIM, 14 SOG

Hajek notched an assist on the Czech Republic’s first goal of the game, a power play marker by Martin Kaut just 43 seconds into the 3rd period. Unfortunately, by the time the Czech’s scored, the USA already had a 7-0 lead. Despite a -5 rating for the game, Hajek was named the Player of the Game for the Czech team, his second such honor of the tournament along with being named one of the Czech team’s Three Players of the Tournament. Hajek, along with Canada’s Cale Makar (COL, 2017 1st round pick) led all defensemen in the tourney in points, and he led the Czech team in ice time, after being left off last year’s WJC squad for CZE.

Wisconsin Badger Trent Fredric (BOS, 2016 1st round pick) paced the USA team on their way to Bronze with four goals, including the trifecta of shorthanded, power play, and even strength goals. Once again, the Czechs played a tight 1st period, but allowed critical let downs to balloon. The Czechs allowed the shortie from Fredric with 4 seconds remaining in the 1st to go into intermission down 1-0, and then allowed a Ryan Poehling (MTL, 2017 1st round pick) tally just 9 seconds into the 2nd period followed by a Joey Anderson goal 4 minutes later. After a goalie change, the Czech team allowed Fredric’s 2nd goal of the game 90 seconds later, and then Hajek got called for a penalty shot on a hooking call, with Kieffer Bellows (NYI, 2016 1st round pick) converting for his first of two goals in the game. Two more goals by Fredric and Bellows before the end of the period and the USA caps off a 6-goal middle frame. The Czechs got 3 goals in the 3rd by Kaut, Radovan Pavlik (undrafted), and Daniel Kurovsky (undrafted), but by then the game was well out of reach.

Gold Medal Game
Sweden 1 @ Canada 3

F Taylor Raddysh , CAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament Totals: 7 GP, 2-3-5, +5, 4 PIM, 16 SOG

F Boris Katchouk, CAN: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament Totals: 7 GP, 3-3-6, +5, 4 PIM, 12 SOG

F Brett Howden , CAN: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament Totals: 7 GP, 3-4-7, +9, 4 PIM, 15 SOG

D Cal Foote, CAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament Totals: 7 GP, 0-3-3, +5, 0 PIM, 2 SOG

Carter Hart (PHI, 2016 2nd round pick) made 35 saves, backstopping Canada to Gold in a 3-1 win over the Sweden. Canada got goals from Dillion Dube (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick) and Tyler Steenbergen (ARI, 2017 5th round pick), with Alex Formenton (OTT, 2017 2nd round pick) adding an empty netter at the end. The game was evenly matched with the difference being the heads-up sharp laser pass by Conor Timmins (COL, 2017 2nd round pick) to Steenbergen in the slot for his first and only goal in the tournament. Sweden’s lone goal came shorthanded in the 2nd to knot the game at 1-1 by Tim Soderlund (CHI, 2017 4th round pick).

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 1-4-18

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Canada 7 vs Czech Republic 2

F Taylor Raddysh , CAN: 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament Totals: 6 GP, 2-3-5, +5, 4 PIM, 14 SOG

F Boris Katchouk, CAN: 1-0-1, +1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament Totals: 6 GP, 3-3-6, +5, 4 PIM, 10 SOG

F Brett Howden , CAN: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 3-4-7, +8, 4 PIM, 13 SOG

D Cal Foote, CAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 6 GP, 0-3-3, +5, 0 PIM, 1 SOG

D Libor Hajek, CZE: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 6 GP, 1-6-7, +5, 6 PIM, 11 SOG

Katchouk scored and Raddysh and Howden added assists in the Canadians 7-2 rout of the Czech Republic. The win puts Canada into the Gold Medal game against Sweden Friday night. Meanwhile, Hajek consummated his coming out party after being named as one of the Czech’s Three Players of the Tournament. The Czechs will play USA for the Bronze Medal, also on Friday night. Filip Zadina (2018 draft eligible) scored both goals for the Czechs, including the game opener just 5:55 into the game, but was snubbed by the Czech coaches as one of the team’s three best after leading the tournament in goals scored. The Canadians were let by the hat trick of Drake Batherson (OTT, 2017 4th round pick). After scoring the opening goal, discipline plagued the Czechs once again, taking a slew of penalties and allowing three straight power play goals and then the 3-1 deficit blossomed into a 7-1 deep trench.

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 1-2-18

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Czech Republic 4 vs Finland 3 (SO)

D Libor Hajek, CZE: 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 1-6-7, +5, 6 PIM, 11 SOG

Hajek played 30:46, four minutes more than any other player in the game, and notched a power play assist in the Czech Republic’s come-from-behind shootout victory over the Finnish squad 4-3. The Czechs will play in the tourney’s semifinals on Thursday against Canada, who dominated the Swiss in quarterfinal play.

Josef Korenar (undrafted), the Czech netminder and former Lincoln Stars goalie, stopped 51 of 54 Finnish shots, backstopping the Czechs in their upset of Finland and their first appearance in the WJC semifinals since 2005. Hajek, playing on the top Czech power play unit, worked with Martin Necas (CAR, 2017 1st round pick) to feed Filip Zadina (2018 draft eligible) for the first of his two goals in the game. The Finns went ahead 2-1 in the 2nd with goals from Aapeli Rasanen (EDM, 2016 6th round pick) and Vancouver 2016 5th overall pick Olli Juolevi, the first on the power play with Hajek in the box for interference. Red Deer Rebel Kristian Reichel (undrafted), son of ex-NHL’er Robert Reichel, knotted the game 2-2 before the end of the 2nd period, but Kristian Vesalainen (WPG, 2017 1st round pick) put the Finns up 3-2 early in the 3rd period. With Korenar pulled for the extra skater, Halifax linemate of Otto Somppi and consensus Top 10 2018 pick Filip Zadina tied the game 3-3 with two-and-a-half minutes left in the game to send the game to OT and to the eventual shootout. Kolenar would stand strong for the Czechs in the skill competition, stopping 4 of 5 shots from Finland, while Reichel and Necar scored for the Czech Republic to seal the upset and a berth in the tournament semifinals.

Canada 8 vs Switzerland 2

F Taylor Raddysh , CAN: 0-1-1, E, 2 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 2-3-5, +4, 4 PIM, 13 SOG

F Boris Katchouk, CAN: 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 2-3-5, +4, 2 PIM, 9 SOG

F Brett Howden , CAN: 1-3-4, +4, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 3-3-6, +7, 4 PIM, 12 SOG

D Cal Foote, CAN: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament Totals: 5 GP, 0-3-3, +5, 0 PIM, 1 SOG

Brett Howden (pictured) scored the opening goal and added three more assists as Canada put up its second snowman on the scoreboard in consecutive games in an 8-2 victory over Switzerland to advance to the semifinals against the Czech Republic on Thursday. The Canadians pelted the Swiss with 60 shots, while the defense allowed just 15 shots against. Canada was paced by two goals from Drake Batherson (OTT, 2017 4th round pick), four points from Howden, and a goal and three points from Maxime Comtois (ANA, 2017 2nd round pick). Both Katchouk and Raddysh netted power play assists, with Katchouk collecting an assist on Batherson’s power play marker in the 1st period, and Raddysh earning his helper on Dillon Dube’s (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick) power play goal midway through the 3rd period.

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship: 12-31-17

2018 IIHF World Junior Championship

Switzerland 3 @ Czech Republic 6

D Libor Hajek, CZE: 0-2-2, +1, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Tournament Totals: 4 GP, 1-4-5, +4, 4 PIM, 8 SOG

Hajek had a pair of assists, one on the power play, in the Czech Republic’s domination of the Swiss, scoring 6 and putting up 60 shots. Red Deer Rebel Kristian Reichel (undrafted), son of ex-NHL’er Robert Reichel, scored twice for the Czechs. Hajek fed Jakub Lauko (2018 draft eligible) for the opening goal just 2:38 into the match, and then followed it up by working with Martin Kaut (2018 draft eligible) on a power play marker by Martin Necas (CAR, 2017 1st round pick) to put the Czechs up 2-1. After the Swiss knotted the score at 3-3 with a power play goal of their own, the Czechs locked the nets and reeled off three straight goals from Kaut, Daniel Kurovsky (undrafted), and Reichel.

The Czech Republic awaits the results of the final preliminary game of Russia vs. Sweden to see who they draw in the quarterfinals on January 2nd. The Russians can finish 2nd in Group B with a regulation win over the Swedes. Otherwise, the Czechs will finish 2nd in Group B.

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