After Friday’s shocking and embarrassing loss to Team France in a shootout, Team Canada was looking to bounce back with a better effort against the Slovaks, which was equally disappointed with their Friday loss at the hands of arch-rival Czech Republic in overtime.
They did just that, but the team is still a work in progress as they kept it close for much longer than they would have liked before scoring a couple of late goals to get some breathing room.
Canada was the beneficiary of 3 power plays in the first period, but were unable to cash in, and the game was scoreless through 20 minutes. Former Ottawa 67’s import defenseman Karol Sloboda got the Slovaks the lead on a power play just past the midway point of the game. Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals tipped in a Jason Garrison shot from the point to even the score about 5 minutes later, which is where it stood through 40 minutes.
Ben Scrivens got the win, stopping 23 of 24 shots in his first ever appearance for Team Canada, faring a bit better than former Maple Leafs teammate James Reimer, who lost the game to the French the previous day.
Ottawa Senators centre Kyle Turris, whose assignment was to keep the top Slovak line that consisted of former NHL veterans Miroslav Satan and Ladislav Nagy in check, did that and more in being named Canada’s player of the game. Turris was a force in the offensive end and set up Bieksa’s insurance goal.
Canada improves to 1W-0OTW-1OTL-0L in the format, for 4 points in the standings. They will take to the ice on Monday against the Czech Republic.