David Krejci was the lone scorer in the shootout as the Czech Republic held on to beat Switzerland 2-1 on Friday in men’s Olympic hockey tournament competition.
The win puts the Czech Republic in third place in Group B, with Denmark’s win over the Czechs on opening night proving to be the current tiebreaker for second place.
A fortunate bounce went the Czech Republic’s way at 4:33 to open the scoring. Jiri Smejkal’s shot bounced off a defender in front and past Swiss goaltender Leonardo Genoni for the opener, two minutes before the Swiss answered back.
Gaetan Haas had a bounce go his way after a scramble in front of the net, with Haas getting in the right spot to poke in the loose disk past Simon Hrubec to make it 1-1.
The game was even after that, with the goaltending duel taking center stage. Switzerland’s Leonardo Genoni was busy with 34 stops, while Simon Hrubec sent 24 pucks away from the back of the net for the Czechs. But that meant the offense at both sides had dried up, forcing a shootout to decide the winner.
In the skills competition, former Boston Bruins star David Krejci scored the game-winner to seal the deal on the Czech Republic’s first shot. It gave the Czechs its second win in its past four meetings with Switzerland, taking the past two meetings in 2018 and 2022.
Both teams will finish the round-robin on Feb. 12, with the Czechs looking to spoil Russia’s perfect run while Switzerland battles against Denmark to try and avoid last place in Group B.