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2018 World Junior Hockey Championship: Canada vs. Slovakia — Preview, start time, TV schedule, and lineups

Victor Mete and Team Canada go for a second win at the WJC, as they take on a relatively unknown group in Team Slovakia.

Team Canada v Team Slovakia Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Read our recap of the game right here!

It was set up to be a great game on the opening day of the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship. Canada and Finland both brought lineups to the tournament loaded with skilled defencemen who promised to offer a speedy back-and-forth contest.

The two sides did just that, but it was the relentless attack of the Canadian forwards that was the difference, with Boris Katchouk leading the way on the front end. His scoring of the opening goal by skating through the net set the tone for the team, with many chances around the net all night.

With that experience under their belts, a matchup with Slovakia probably seems like a cake walk. Up against a team with just two players who have been drafted by NHL clubs, on paper there doesn’t seem to be much of a contest. But taking any opponent lightly in such a short tournament oftens proves to be a recipe for disaster.

For Slovakia, they’ll be counting on a relatively experienced group, with several 19-year-olds. The team will be hoping their goaltender can hold them in the contest, while those two drafted players — Marian Studenic and Adam Ruzicka — chip in a goal or two at the opposite end.

Slovakia may have to take a gamble on which of Canada or the USA they have a better chance of beating, deploying goalie David Hrenak against the perceived weakest of those two options in an attempt to steal at least a point. Their best chance to get a positive result comes later in the preliminary round, but taking one of the North American contenders to extra time would be a major boost to their chances of avoiding the relegation series.

How to watch

Puck drop: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In Canada: TSN1, TSN3, TSN4 (English,) RDS2 (French)
In the United States: NHL Network
Streaming: TSNGO

Team Canada’s projected lineup

CAN Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#9 Dillon Dube #23 Sam Steel #25 Jordan Kyrou
#12 Boris Katchouk #27 Robert Thomas #16 Taylor Raddysh
#11 Jonah Gadjovich #20 Michael McLeod #19 Drake Batherson
#14 Maxime Comtois #21 Brett Howden #24 Alex Formenton
#17 Tyler Steenbergen

CAN Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#28 Victor Mete #3 Conor Timmins
#10 Kale Clague #8 Dante Fabbro
#2 Jake Bean #7 Cale Makar
#6 Cal Foote

CAN Goaltenders

#31 Carter Hart
#1 Colton Point

Team Slovakia final roster

# Player Position League Current team (NHL)
# Player Position League Current team (NHL)
30 Roman Durny G Slovakia Team Slovakia U20
1 Dávid Hrenák G NCAA St. Cloud State University
2 Jakub Kostelny G Slovakia Team Slovakia U20
5 Martin Bodák D WHL Kootenay Ice
6 Martin Fehérváry D Allsvenskan IK Oskarshamn
27 Samuel Fereta D Slovakia Team Slovakia U20
3 Tomas Hedera D Slovakia Team Slovakia U20
12 Michal Ivan D QMJHL Acadie-Bathurst Titan
7 Marek Korencik D SuperElit Luleå HF J20
9 David Matejovic D Slovakia Team Slovakia U20
24 Vojtech Zelenak D Slovakia Team Slovakia U20
13 Samuel Bucek F USHL Chicago Steel
14 Viliam Cacho F Slovakia Team Slovakia U20
17 Milos Kelemen F Slovakia Team Slovakia U20
16 Filip Krivosik F LeKi Mestis
20 Peter Kundrik F Slovakia Team Slovakia U20
18 Adam Liska F OHL Kitchener Rangers
26 Milos Roman F WHL Vancouver Giants
21 Adam Ruzicka F OHL Sarnia Sting (CGY)
4 Erik Smolka F Slovakia Team Slovakia U20
23 Samuel Solenský F NAHL Johnstown Tomahawks
19 Marian Studenic F OHL Hamilton Bulldogs (NJD)
25 Alex Tamasi F Slovakia Team Slovakia U20