Canadian forward Dylan Cozens chips a puck past Nick Malik of the Czech Republic during a Hlinka Gretzky Cup pre-tournament game on Aug. 6. The Czech Republic managed to knock off Canada 4-3 in the contest. (Byron Hackett/Red Deer Advocate)

Whitehorse’s Dylan Cozens scores goal, named alternate captain ahead of Hlinka Gretzky Cup

Czechs beats Canada 4-3 pre-tournament game

Team Canada’s under-18 squad for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup dropped a pre-tournament game 4-3 against the Czech Republic in Red Deer, Alta., on Aug. 4.

The Czechs jumped out to an early lead with a goal from Marcel Barinka at 8:54 in the first period.

Whitehorse’s Dylan Cozens evened the score four minutes later with a goal at 12:54 assisted by Kaedan Korczak, but the Czechs scored with just 19 seconds remaining in the period to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

In the second, Jakob Pelletier scored at 11:15 to tie the score at 2-2. Bowen Byram had the lone assist on the tally.

Two goals in the first half of the third period put the Czechs up 4-2, and a late goal by Pelletier assisted by Byram and Cozens pulled the Canadians within one.

Cozens finished the game with a goal, an assist and two penalty minutes.

Earlier on Aug. 4 Team Canada announced Alexis Lafrenière will wear the captain’s C during the tournament. Cozens and Byram were named alternate captains for Canada.

The tournament begins on Aug. 6 with matchups between Slovakia and Sweden, Russia and Finland, Czech Republic and United States, and Switzerland and Canada.

The Swiss are coming off a 7-0 loss to Russia in a pre-tournament game in Lacombe, Alta.

Canada is also scheduled to play Slovakia on Aug. 7 and Sweden on Aug. 8.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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