Whoever missed the opening stages of the game would regret it as both teams got on the scoreboard early. First, Tyler Walser opened the scoring with a hard shot from the left wing, but the early US lead was cancelled shortly afterwards thanks to Miroslav Kristin. The US was pushing the attack and took back the lead after 7 minutes of play thanks to Nathan Sigmund´s shorthanded effort.
Early in the second quarter, CJ Yoder scored a power play goal to give the US a two-goal advantage, but the Slovaks came up with an instant reply thanks to Miroslav Kristin´s second goal of the game. However, this was the last time the Slovakia were close to their opponent as Rafael Rodriguez would soon after restored a two goal gap. Slovakia then changed their goalkeeper during half time, Roman Hrusovsky replacing Jozef Ondrejka.
A 4-2 score remained valid until the 33rd minute and despite being two goals down the Slovaks could be happy with their performance and effort. In the latter stages of the game, though, their play fell apart. Shawn Gawrys converted a power play at 33:17 and just 17 seconds later, Nathan Sigmund made it 6-2. “Next time we have to stick to our planned tactics,” claimed the disappointed Martin Galik. “An opponent of the US quality punishes every mistake and we have to be more disciplined.”
A Quick breakaway was then converted into a seventh US goal by Junior Cadiz, followed by another goal from Tyler Walser. Slovakia clawed one goal back late thanks to a lucky close range shot of Martin Galik with the puck going in off his skate. But the Slovaks were not spared further goals, as Kyle Kraemer stole the show in the last minutes and scored an incredible four-minute hattrick! “We started slowly and Slovaks were closing us down pretty well, but we started to do back-checking and gradually became the better team,” said Kraemer.
It was an open game from the beginning. I hope we will continue with a performance like this. Every opponent is different and we have to adapt a bit. We will also have to get better used to the floor in the arena to feel more comfortable.
-Robert Chornomud (Team USA coach)
We did not play as we planned before the game. Our opponent had something like six power plays and scored five goals. It is very difficult to play shorthanded against an opponent of US quality. I am a bit disappointed, because our key players did not perform to the standard today. We will have to sort it out before tomorrow.
-Imrich Antal (Team Slovakia coach)