Canada vs. Czechia: Live score, highlights, updates from 2023 World Juniors game

The quest for back-to-back gold begins today for Canada as the defending champions take on the Czech Republic to kick off their 2023 World Juniors.

Canada won its 19th gold medal at the U20 tournament last summer, defeating Finland in overtime. It was his second gold medal in three years and third in the last five.

Key returnees for the team are Connor Bedard, Olen Zellweger and Logan Stankoven. Zellweger and Stankoven finished third and fourth, respectively, in points among all skaters at the 2022 tournament, while Bedard was tied for ninth.

MORE: Watch the 2023 World Juniors live with fuboTV (free trial, US only)

Looking at the newcomers, Shane Wright, Dylan Guenther and Adam Fantilli are expected to have a major impact for Canada. Both Wright and Guenther passed the restarted 2022 tournament in favor of focusing on making their respective NHL clubs, but were loaned to Team Canada for the 2023 competition. Fantilli is projected to be a first pick in the 2023 draft.

Czechia lost to Sweden in the bronze medal game at the last World Juniors, losing their first World Juniors medal since 2005. Names to watch on the Czech roster are Jiri Kulich, David Jiricek and Eduard Sale.

Kulich, a 2022 Sabers freshman, averaged a point per game this summer. Jiricek is a Blue Jackets prospect who went No. 6 overall in the 2022 draft and should get early minutes on the Czech blue line. Sale is a potential top 10 pick in the 2023 draft and is getting his first crack at the World Juniors as a 17-year-old.

Canada defeated the Czech Republic twice at the 2022 World Juniors, once in group play and then in the semifinals.

MORE: Team Canada roster, schedule for 2023 World Juniors

The Sporting News provides live updates and highlights of the Canada-Czech Republic matchup at the 2023 World Juniors.

Score Canada vs Czechia

Matchups P1 P2 P3 OT F
Canada 1
Czechia 2

Canada vs Czechia live updates, highlights from 2023 World Juniors

All Eastern Time (ET)

Second period

19:51 – The five minute mark is confirmed and Dean’s night is done. Again, in the non-IIHF game, that can’t be called yet, but head shots are evaluated differently in international hockey. A five-minute power play for the Czech Republic.

19:48 – Zack Dean’s high shot on Ales Cech will result in a penalty. He puts his hand up in Cech’s face. It is called for a first of five minutes, but the officials will review the call to see if it stays, or if it is reduced to a minor. The IIHF has tougher rules on head shots, so let’s see what is evaluated.

19:47 – Svozil pulls him back by throwing his hip over Fantilli in the slot for a perfectly executed hip check.

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7:43 pm — GOAL! Canada makes it a one-goal game again, as Bedard scores 45 seconds after Svozil’s goal. A turnover by the Czechs in the neutral zone allowed the speedy wing to collect the puck and enter the offensive zone untouched. A Czech defender really got a piece of Bedard’s shot, making it more difficult for Suchanek. 3-2 Czechia now leads a minute and a half into the second.

7:40 pm — GOAL! Czechia needed just 44 seconds to get back on the board as Stanislav Svozil cut in from the left point and ripped one past Gaudreau. A miscommunication by Canada’s forwards opens up space for Svozil. It’s not the start that Canada wanted in the second as the Czechia kept the momentum from the end of the first, 3-1 Czechia.

19:39 – The second period is a go.

End of first period: Czechia 2, Canada 1

19:21 – Despite controlling most of the game, Canada found themselves down 2-1 after 20 minutes. A short lapse in defensive play at the end of the period resulted in two goals in the back of their net. Czechia responded well after Clarke’s goal was disallowed, which would have put Canada up 2-0.

7:19 pm — GOAL! The Czech Republic strikes again, as a clean face off play in the offensive zone results in a David Moravec goal from the spot. Bedard did not get into the shooting lane in time and thus, the Czech Republic took the lead with two goals 35 seconds apart.

7:16 pm — GOAL! Czechia ties the game as Spacek cuts to the back door and snaps the puck into a wide open net. You could see that coming, as Canada has been stuck in their own zone for an extended period of time. Really good cycle from the Czechs and they are rewarded with the goal. Adam Fantilli had Spacek covered at the point, but was slow to react to him once the Czech defender committed to the back door.

7:12 p.m. – No penalty on the play, but Canada is not happy with Sztruc as he gets his stick in Gaudreau’s face.

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19:09 – No goal, as the play is considered offside. The correct call to make on the game. Czech Republic maintains a one goal game with the successful challenge.

19:07 – Brandt Clarke appears to have temporarily given Canada a 2-0 lead, but the Czech Republic are challenged for offsides. Looks like Joshua Roy didn’t keep his foot in the neutral zone before the puck crossed the blue line.

19:06 – Another attempt by Michigan, as this time it is Bedard who tries to sneak by the ear for Suchanek, but is denied. it’s only a matter of time before he sees one enter.

6:58 pm — GOAL! The captain strikes first, as Shane Wright gets a piece of a shot from Olen Zellweger and goes through the wickets of Suchanek. Wright called the tip while in the slot and Zellweger put it in a great spot for the deflection. A successful power play and Canada leads 1-0 with 9:37 remaining in the period.

6:55 p.m. – Penalty coming to Czechia as Gabriel Sztruc is called for goalkeeper interference. He clipped Gaudreau’s foot, pushing the goalkeeper out of position. The referee already has his arm up before the puck is hit, so no goal for Czechia either.

6:53 pm – Connor Bedard sends Brennan Othmann all alone on Suchanek, but he rips off the handles and the puck rolls off his blade and into the corner.

6:52 p.m. – The Canadians kill Dean’s penalty, back to the force as well.

6:50 p.m. – Czech heads to the power play as Zack Dean is called for slashing.

6:49 p.m. – This forward group for Canada is exactly as advertised – they are fast, they are skilled and they want defenses to chase them around the offensive zone.

6:46 p.m. – We have our first attempt at Michigan! Adam Fantilli puts the puck on his stick, but David Spacek successfully knocks the puck off his stick before he can get it to Suchanek. We saw Kent Johnson shoot in the summer, and three or four attempts in the pre-tournament games.

6:43 p.m. – A really bad switch from the Czech Republic allows Zack Ostapchuk to run over Tomas Suchanek alone. He tried to slide through five holes and had his hands in the air thinking he scored, but Suchanek squeezed his legs for the stop.

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6:40 p.m. – The puck dropped and the quest to repeat as gold medalists began for Canada.

I pray

6:10 p.m. – Lineups for Czechia and Canada. The Canadians are rolling with the same combinations we saw in the exhibition contests. Jiricek officially for the Czechs.

5:15 p.m. – David Jiricek, with all his tools, will be active tonight for Czechia. She was delayed in reaching Halifax and her equipment was lost in transit. He skated for the first time with the Czech Republic earlier this morning without his normal gear. Jiricek went No. 6 in the draft last summer to the Blue Jackets and his absence against Canada would have been a big loss for Czechia.

5 pm – Benjamin Gaudreau starts in net for the opener against the Czech Republic. Canada doesn’t have a clear No. 1 between him and Thomas Milic, but Gaudreau will get the first chance in net.

What channel is Canada vs Czechia on today?

  • Canada: TSN 1/4/5
  • United States: NHL Network

TSN has all the World Juniors action in Canada. In the United States, viewers can find the games on NHL Network.

Gord Miller and Mike Johnson are on the call live from the Maritimes. James Duthie, Bob McKenzie and Cheryl Pounder will provide analysis during the breaks.

How to stream World Juniors hockey games live

Fans in Canada can stream all World Juniors games on or the TSN app.

US fans can stream the tournament on fuboTV (free trial), or the NHL app.

Odds Canada vs Czechia

  • Canada: -2.5 (-159)
  • Czech Republic: +2.5 (+115)
  • O/O: 6.5

According to Sports Interaction, Canada is a 2.5-goal favorite at the puckline for the contest against Czechia at the World Juniors.

Canada World Juniors schedule 2023

(All Eastern Times)

Date Adversary Result time (ET) Info TV
December 26 Czechia 6:30 p.m TSN, NHLN
December 28 Germany 6:30 p.m TSN, NHLN
December 29 Austria 6:30 p.m TSN, NHLN
December 31 Sweden 6:30 p.m TSN, NHLN
January 2 TBD (quarterfinals) TBD TSN, NHLN
January 4 TBD (semi-finals) TBD TSN, NHLN
January 5 TBD (Gold Medal Game) TBD TSN, NHLN


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