Canada Conquers, Surviving Slovakia Scare

Canadian players celebrating after a second period goal against Slovakia during preliminary round action at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship. (Photo: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

(Alliteration is an amateur author’s affectation.)

After being down 2-0 in the first period, Canada pulled their heads out of their asses and gutted out a 6-3 win over Slovakia.

In the first period, the Slovaks got on the board when Marko Dano put away a rebound on Matus Matis‘ shot. Then came the conga line to the penalty box for Canada — a serious issue they need to continue to address if they want to make it to the medal rounds. And then JC Lipon thought it would be an awesome idea if he did this.

Lipon was given a game misconduct and a five-minute major for this hit to Tomas Likus and will face a disciplinary hearing on Saturday. Likus exacted immediate revenge by putting Slovakia up 2-0 as the first period wound down.

After Canada cut their lead to 2-1 early in the second, Anthony Camara delivered this hit on Patrik Luza. Luza was later removed from this game on a stretcher and was admitted to the hospital as a precaution.

Even though he was given a game misconduct and a charging major, Camara was cleared for wrongdoing on this hit, which is exactly the right call. His elbows were down, his stick was down — Luza just didn’t have his head up. (And this is coming from the biggest Team USA homer on the site.)

Slovakia got back their two-goal lead on a power play goal by Dano in the middle of the second period, but afterward, they became sloppy with their discipline. Canada took full advantage of this breakdown. Two power play goals later, Canada was in complete control of this game. Mark Scheifele put Canada ahead 4-3 at the end of the second period. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Strome — added two goals in the third for the dagger.

Scheifele was chosen as Canada’s player of the game, while Dano was chosen for Slovakia.

For highlights from this game, check out the video below.

Hockey Canada also added this video of their players attempting to spell “Ufa,” the Russian city hosting the World Junior Championships. Bless their hearts.

Canada has the day off tomorrow before facing Team USA on December 30. I’ll attempt to keep my USA homerism in check for that post, but I make no promises.

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