Penalties and power plays were crucial in the early stages of the game as both teams showed great finishing and good power play combinations to score goals. In the opening minutes, Max Grassi converted a perfect cross pass by Thomas Woods into an open net, but Slovakia came back strongly after just two minutes thanks to Miroslav Kristin´s slapshot.
The game was very even with both teams at full strength, but as soon as Kirk French was penalized, Martin Klucar beat Canadian goalkeeper Leggat with a shot above the keeper´s pad to put Slovakia in the lead. However, that did not last long as Canadians showed good composure after the break and Adam Ross fired in an equalizer. “We are very happy to convert three powerplays. We focused on that a lot in training and wanted to hold the puck and shoot often,” said Kirk French of Team Canada
The first non-powerplay goal came one minute before the end of the second period thanks to a quick combination and Kirk French´s close range finish. Canada took the lead and was able to take advantage of Slovak indiscipline. Slovakian bench was often involved in discussion with both referees, but that did not really help their effort as Adam Ross scored another powerplay goal at 30:35 to increase Canada lead and just 32 seconds later, Dylan Nowakowski finished a quick breakaway to give his team a three-goal lead.
Slovakia´s gameplan was suddenly in tatters and even a timeout was not enough to turn the game around. Canada was alert in defense and goalkeeper Brett Leggat was in fine form, stopping Novak´s shot with a great glove save. Slovakia got their last chance late in the game during Eng´s penalty, but Klucar´s shot right under the crossbar was no more than a consolation. And it was Canada with the last goal contribution of the game, when Max Grassi finished a quick breakaway past stretching Ondrejka.
“We started really well. We were able to cancel Canada´s opening goal. But then we stopped following our tactics. We played better than yesterday and the result is not the worst, but we lost again and that is the most important thing. We need to shoot more tomorrow and perhaps get a bit of luck. But I think we could beat Slovenians,“ said Martin Klucar of Team Slovakia.