After exploding for 16 goals in their tournament debut last night against Germany, Team Canada found themselves in a much different type of game tonight against the tight checking Slovaks, scoring only 3 goals in a 3-1 win to move to 2-0-0-0 for the tournament.
Team Canada came flying out of the gates, starting right where they left off last night and smothering the Slovaks for the first 5 minutes of the game and would strike first when LA Kings 4th round pick Jordan Spence pinched into the slot from the point to bury home a loose rebound at the 4:08 mark of the first period, giving Canada the 1-0 lead.
Canada would hold Slovakia off the shots on goal board until the 6:05 mark of the first period, but that is the same point of the game their dominance started to slow.
Team Canada would continue to struggle to get anything going offensively in the second period, not recording their first shot on goal until the 5:36 mark of the period. Canada would get their first powerplay opportunity late in the period, a chance to right the ship and gain some offensive spark, but instead found themselves on the opposite side of things, failing to even record a shot on goal.
After a back and fourth third period, Canada would finally find the back of the net once again. After successfully killing off a penalty to Peyton Krebs that saw Slovakia come close to tying the game, Philip Tomasino received a beautiful stretch pass from Dylan Cozens and made no mistake, taking the puck hard to the net and burying his 3rd of the tournament to give Canada a 2-0 lead.
Slovakia would cut the Canadian lead in half when Martin Chromiak came off the bench as the extra attacker and found the back of the net on the powerplay with 1:24 remaining in regulation.
That would be as close as the Slovaks would get though. Canadian forward Jack Quinn would seal the deal for the Canadians with 30 seconds remaining in the game as he buried an empty net breakaway goal after stealing a bobbling puck from a Slovakian defender at the blue line of the Canadian defensive zone.
It came as a surprise to many that the game was as close as it was, but give credit where credit is due as the Slovaks have now only given up 4 goals against (3 on goalies) in 2 games of this tournament and have played as tight of a checking game as any other team.
Final shots on goal for the game were 24 for Canada and 18 for Slovakia.
Defenseman Jamie Drysdale was selected as the Team Canada Player of the Game and Goaltender Samuel Hlavaj was selected as the Player of the Game for Team Slovakia.
Canada will enjoy a day of rest tomorrow before taking on Switzerland on Tuesday. Slovakia will be right back in action tomorrow, taking on Germany, who is expecting to see some players return to their lineup after missing their first 2 games of the tournament due to Covid-19 testing results.