In the second day of the tournament, Team Canada had to do without ice-time leader Kale Clague, who injured his right foot blocking a shot in the game Finland. However, Cale Makar and the rest of the team stepped up to solidly defeat the Slovaks. Colton Point pitched a shutout for his international debut, making 20 saves for Canada.
In the first period, Sam Steel deflected in a shot to open the scoring with his second goal in two games. In a scary moment, Jake Bean collided with Marian Studenic, sending both players to the room, but by the middle of the second period they each returned to the ice.
Coming back from the first intermission, Dillon Dube was able to draw a penalty and Jordan Kyrou scored on the power play, assisted by Victor Mete just 84 seconds into the period.
Not long after, the rebound on Cale Makar’s shot went straight to Jonah Gadjovich, who was ready and waiting in front of Hrenák. It was Makar’s second assist on the night, and he was being counted on for a lot more minutes in this game. He only played 6:54 against Finland as the seventh defenceman, but the loss of Kale Clague and Jake Bean’s temporary absence left Canada short on defence for much of the game.
At the tail end of another Canadian power play, Taylor Raddysh scooped up his own rebound right in front of Hrenák and put it away for his second goal of the tournament. Raddysh’s first chance was created by another good move from Jordan Kyrou to find him by the open net.
Slovakia finally got their first power play with four minutes left in the second period but they struggled to get anything going, registering zero shots on Colton Point.
The third period started out more quietly in terms of scoring, with quite a few chances for Canada that were turned away by either Hrenák or the post. With just four minutes remaining in the game, Maxime Comtois capitalized on a turnover created by Brett Howden, then Jonah Gadjovich followed up with a tip-in for his second goal of the night to make it a 6-0 final.
For the Slovaks, who had Tuesday off, this was their first test, and one of the toughest. Goalie Dávid Hrenák looked good in the first period, especially, and he worked hard to keep Canada restricted to six goals. The second period looked to be Slovakia’s toughest, possibly as they struggled on the long change. The team is going to need to see more from Adam Ruzicka moving forward if they hope to make it to the quarterfinals.
Martin Bodák and Jonah Gadjovich were named the players of the game.
Slovakia will play the Americans on Thursday. Now 2-0, Team Canada has Thursday off, and they’ll be back in action on Friday for the outdoor game vs. USA. The official decision on whether the game will actually be played outdoors is being made at noon on Thursday.