Jan Kovar scored the winner in a shootout, lifting the Czech Republic to a 3-2 win over Canada in preliminary-round men’s hockey action Saturday at the Pyeonchang Olympics.
Goalie Pavel Francouz was the star for the Czechs, allowing just one goal in the shootout, to Wojtek Wolski. Maxim Lapierre, Derek Roy, Rene Bourque and Maxim Noreau missed.
Kovar and Petr Koukal were successful for the Czechs against Canada’s Ben Scrivens.
Mason Raymond and Rene Bourque scored in regulation time for Canada, which wraps up preliminary-round play Sunday against South Korea.
Dominik Kubalik and Michal Jordan scored in regulation time for the Czechs, who edged South Korea 2-1 in their opener.
Canada opened the tournament with a 5-1 over Switzerland.
Canadian skater Patrick Chan said he went into the final competition of his career with “no fear.’’
Skating to Jeff Buckley’s haunting “Hallelujah’’ at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Saturday, the three-time world champion from Toronto scored 173.42 points for an overall score of 263.43, putting him ninth in the men’s event.
He opened with a beautiful quadruple toe loop, but tripled his second quad jump in a shaky skate.
Chan was sixth in Friday’s short program after he fell on his triple Axel.
The Canadian, who is retiring, ends his career with an Olympic silver in the men’s event from the 2014 Games and a team gold won earlier in Pyeongchang.
“This is the best Olympic experience out of the three, because I was in control,’’ he said. “I was not dying out of breath.’’
It was a 1-2 finish for Japan, with two-time world champion Yuzuru Hanyu earning 206.17 points in the free skate for a total of 317.85 and the gold medal.
Shoma Uno took silver with a total score of 306.90, while Spain’s Javier Fernandez was third with 305.24.
The 27-year-old Chan took a season off after his heartbreaking silver medal at the Sochi Olympics, but his comeback hasn’t been what he envisioned.
“My career has had a lot of challenges like this and I think I can learn a lot more from having a lot of ups and downs,’’ he said. “But today my goal was to land both Axels and get them solid. I am happy I landed on my feet on both of those.’’
Chan was responsible for launching the quad brigade as one of the first skaters to include two quads in his long program. But once so dominant, he returned from his year off to find his competition had left him eating their high-flying dust.
Keegan Messing of Sherwood Park, Alta., was 12th, finishing with a total score of 255.43.
Meanwhile, freestyle skier Dara Howell, a gold medallist in women’s slopestyle four years ago in Sochi, finished a disappointing 21st.
The 23-year-old from Huntsville, Ont., who admitted she tore a knee ligament in November, is already looking ahead to 2022.
“My dad is going to kill me. I just said to him: ‘OK I’ve gotta go four more years,’’’ an emotional Howell said with a laugh. “I think every Olympics is a different experience and you learn so much along the way. We’ll see but I just don’t think I’m done.
“I still have stuff to prove to myself.’’
Yuki Tsubota of Whistler was the top Canadian — and the only one of three to make the final. She placed sixth with a score of 74.40 points.
Kim Lamarre of Lac Beauport, Que., the bronze medallist from Sochi, was 22nd.
The Canadian Press