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.
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