Slovakia Romps Over Belarus 11-1 In One-Sided Affair
Slovakia took no prisoners in its first game of the 2003 World Junior Championship in Sydney, Nova Scotia on Friday night. Slovakia came out flying to soar to an 11 – 1 victory over Belarus who is now 0 – 2 in tournament play.
Igor Pohanka opened the scoring for Slovakia 7:51 into the opening period. Ratislav Lipka slid a nice pass into the slot from behind the net for Pohanka to count the first goal of the rampage. The Slovaks added two more markers before the end of the first.
At 14:54 of the first period Team Belarus took goaltender Siarhei Rahouski out of the net and replaced him with Dzmitry Kamovich. The Belarussians seemed to get a spark after this move and scored just two minutes later when Mikhail Grabovski ripped a hard slapshot over Slovakia goaltender Peter Sevela.
With only three shots in the first period and two in the second, Team Belarus could not get anything going. By game’s end, Slovakia had outshot the Belarus team 53 – 10.
Aside from the number of shots that went in, Belarus goalkeeper Kamovich made some spectacular saves throughout the game but there was no hope for Belarus.
Karol Sloboda who had two goals and an assist for the Slovaks, also picked up player of the game honors for his side. When asked about his team’s performance after the game, Sloboda said, "We start skating, start passing, we worked hard for the win."
Milan Jurcina of Slovakia did not play in tonight’s game due to an injury to his right leg. Jurcina who plays with local Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL hopes to be back by the end of the tournament.
Slovakia will be going into tomorrow’s contest against the Russians with much-needed confidence. Belarus will have the day off Saturday and will return to action Sunday, also against Russia. If Belarus has any hope of making it past the preliminary round it must defeat Russia, a daunting task, indeed.
Ryan Joe MacKenzie
Belarus to Take On Slovakia
After coming off a 4-2 loss to Switzerland in opening day play, Belarus hopes to rebound with a win over Slovakia on Day 2 of the World U20 Championship in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
Slovakia, which came out of exhibition play with two losses, hopes to come out of its tournament opener with a win. The country won a bronze medal at the 1999 World Junior Championship but has not seen a medal since. The senior men, though, won gold at the 2002 World Championship in Sweden, and perhaps the emtions from that victory will trickle down to the juniors.
Belarus will be looking for more offence in Friday’s contest, notably from Andrei Kastsitsyn and Vadim Karaga, who both played well in their tournament opener.
Slovakia is hoping to keep the Belarus team off the scoreboard with strong defensive play by Tomas Slovak and Boston Bruins 2001 draft pick, Milan Jurcina, who currently plays for the local Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL.
Slovakia is getting some new help behind the bench from Coach Jozef Fruhauf who is replacing Julius Supler. Belarus, who tied their only exhibition game 2 – 2 with Germany, will be coached by Uladimir Melenchuk.
This could prove to be a big win for either team if one hopes to advance, but a loss to Belarus could end their chances at advancing to the crossover round.
Ryan Joe MacKenzie
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André Brin Director, Communications | Directeur, communications