Tavares rescues Canada in OT victory over Austria

Olympics

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PRAGUE — Canada squandered a five-goal lead in the third period before Toronto Maple Leafs star John Tavares scored 15 seconds into overtime to give the defending champions a 7-6 win over Austria at the ice hockey world championship on Tuesday.

The Canadians led 6-1, but Austria produced an unprecedented five-goal final period to force overtime in a Group A game in Prague. Peter Schneider led Austria’s surge in the third with two goals and an assist.

Benjamin Baumgartner completed a two-on-one rush before Schneider scored from a tight angle to make it 6-3. Dominic Zwerger’s slap shot made it a two-goal game.

Schneider added his second with 4:04 remaining, and Marco Rossi‘s backhander tied it at 6-6 with 49 seconds left.

In overtime, Tavares, whose Maple Leafs lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs to the Boston Bruins, carried the puck into the zone and snapped a wrist shot past goaltender David Madlener to clinch Canada’s third straight victory.

“It’s a good lesson,” said Tavares, Canada’s captain who also is Toronto’s captain. “This definitely grabs our attention, just how we have to stay with our game, continue to build our identity and how you have to manage the swings of emotion.”

Earlier, Chicago Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard scored for the third straight game, Kaiden Guhle had a goal and an assist, and Dylan Cozens, Bowen Byram, Jared McCann and Pierre-Luc Dubois all scored a goal each for Canada.

Canada scored three in the span of 6:55 in the first period to build a 3-1 lead. Cozens opened the scoring from the slot before Tavares fed Guhle to double the advantage from the left circle. Benjamin Nissner pulled one back for Austria before Byram wristed in the third.

McCann skated around Madlener to make it 4-1 in the middle period. Bedard added the fifth, shooting from the goal line with Madlener deflecting the puck into his own net. Dubois added a sixth.

Madlener made 42 saves for Austria, which earned its first point in the tournament. Canada’s Jordan Binnington stopped 15 shots.

After two overtime wins, Latvia beat Kazakhstan 2-0 for its third straight victory.

Roberts Bukarts and Haralds Egle scored for last year’s bronze medalist, and Kristers Gudlevskis made 22 saves to ensure three points in the Group B game in Ostrava.

Latvia had needed overtime to get past Poland and France.

In Group A in Prague, Norway got its first win at the tournament by beating Denmark 2-0.

Michael Brandsegg-Nygard scored, Eirik Salsten added the second into an empty net and goalie Henrik Haukeland stopped 24 shots.

In Group B, Justin Addamo’s two goals helped France top Poland 4-2 for its first victory.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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