VICTORIA – Canada’s 4-goal first period was the beginning of an excellent performance, defeating Slovakia 6-1, for their second-straight win in pre-tournament play.
After scoring the first three goals for Canada in their first pre-tournament matchup against Switzerland, the line of Maxime Comtois (Anaheim Ducks), Cody Glass (Vegas Golden Knights), and Owen Tippett (Florida Panthers) once again get on the scoresheet first. Following a great forecheck from Tippett and Glass, Comtois converts from the slot to give the Red and White the early 1-0 lead, notching his third goal in four periods.
Shortly after (and on the powerplay), Jack Studnicka (Boston Bruins) deflects the loose puck off of his foot to make it 2-0. The goals would continue to pour for Canada as Nick Suzuki (Montreal Canadiens) and Shane Bowers (Colorado Avalanche) also solved Slovak goaltender Samuel Hlavaj, adding to the lead.
In what was a rather physical hockey game, Canada found themselves working on their special teams for a good portion of the second period.
With penalties from Bowers and Joe Veleno (Detroit Red Wings), Canada’s penalty-killing unit was on display, deflating any opportunities for Slovakia to get anything past goaltender Ian Scott. On the other hand, Cody Glass added to Studnicka’s goal on the man advantage, making it a 5-0 hockey game.
Early into the third period, Ty Smith (New Jersey Devils) became the first Canadian defenseman to find the back of the net, wiring a shot from the point, adding to the lead.
However, Slovakia would finally solve Scott, as Rouyn-Noranda Huskie forward Patrik Hrehorack lifted the puck past Scott’s glove, breaking the shutout.
Despite allowing the lone goal with 5 minutes remaining in the hockey game, Scott, the Prince Albert Raider made 22 of 23 stops in the victory, clearing out-performing Michael DiPietro’s (Vancouver Canucks) play in his matchup against the Swiss.
Canada will play in one more pre-tournament game on Sunday against the Fins, their toughest task to date. Meanwhile, the Slovaks will have no more pre-tournament play, as they will have to finalize their 22-man roster.