IIHF World Junior Tournament
Canada vs. Slovakia @Credit Union Centre
Canada looked to go 3-0 tonight. After back-to-back shutout performances, Jake Allen got to rest tonight as Calgary Hitmen's Martin Jones got that start tonight.
In the exhibition round, Taylor Hall, the predicted #1 for this year's entry draft, flourished. Two games into the tournament, he hasn't registered a goal. But tonight, it changed. 7:20 into the game and on the PP, Ryan Ellis passed the puck down from the point to Taylor Hall. Hall ripped his shot into the back of the Slovak net. Jordan Eberle also drawing a point, but the real job he did was occupy the Slovak defenceman and freed a lane for the puck to drive through.
Just 21 seconds later, ANOTHER GOAL! New Brunswick's first skater to captain Team Canada at the Juniors, Patrice Cormier, won the face-off and passed it off to Alex Pietrangelo. Petro slapped his shot at the high slot and into the back of the net!
Right when Corms's penalty ended, Taylor Hall with another goal! Slovakia's Henrich Jabornik mucked up on the clear and gave the puck to Hall at centre ice. Taylor zipped down the wing and wristed the puck up for the tight angle goal.
The worse move done by the Slovaks was by their coach. The coach pulled Marek Ciliak from goal and replaced him with Tomas Halasz right after that second Hall goal. Not many of goaltenders would've stopped it. I doubt even Martin Brodeur would stop that. It's not good to shatter a young boy's confidence like that.
In the second now and we're up 5-nothing! Nazem Kadri passed it to zippy Taylor Hall who brought it down low. Ryan Ellis up at the point was fed the puck and one-timed it. It took a forunate tip by a Slovak and into the back of the net!
For the first time this entire tournament, Canada has gotten their first GA (goal against). Peter Hrasko made the one-timer which Jones initally saved. The save left a big rebound which was picked up by Richard Panik (I'm liking that last name) and buried into the net.
But just like that, Canada was quick to answer. Kadri won the faceoff, Petro picked up the puck and passed to Hall. Hall had the very nice drag and even better finish for the HAT TRICK! If we keep going at this rate, I think all our forwards will get hat tricks by the end of the tournament.
The final goal of the period came from Brayden Schenn. It was very nice work done by him. He kept his stick on the ice, eyes were on the puck on the receive, and his target was the goal.
In the third period, Slovakia played better. Slovakia was a team to reckon with from the beginning, but Canada has always been that big name to deal with. But the pressure put on by the Slovak's was better in this period than the previous two. Then again, though, Canada seemed to sit back a bit.
Only two goals went by in this period. First one was from Stefan Della-Rovere. The other from Slovakia's Martin Bakos.
Can't say much for Canada. They're just living up to expectations (and then some). Good job to Slovakia for actually getting goals in (even if it was against our back-up). They did something Latvia and Switzerland could not
MVPs of the Game
Slovakia: Peter Hrasko
Canada: Taylor Hall
(That's what you call support!)