USA tops Slovakia 3-1
Slovakia faced off with the United States in front of a boisterous crowd of 2,238 at Centre 200 in Sydney today. The crowd was loud and on the edge of their seats from the first draw to the last whistle of the 3-1 USA victory.
Team Slovakia drew first blood, opening the scoring at 7:31 of the first period. Slovak forward Juraj Sykora beat American goaltender Robert Goepfert with a hard shot along the ice. The goal came on a U.S turn over that resulted in a partial breakaway.
The Americans fought back hard for the remainder of the first period but were unable to capitalize on their scoring chances. The United States squad could not finish on a number of chances including two legitimate scoring chances that came mid way through the period. Slovakia also had its fair share of difficulty beating Goepfert, as they were unable to capitalize on a 5-on-3 power play nearing period’s end. The teams headed to the dressing room with the U.S trailing by a goal.
The Americans came out hard in the opening minutes of the second period and continued to press for the tying goal. It finally came at 5:02 after a magnificent solo effort by Christopher Higgins that resulted in two scoring chances before he grabbed a rebound and finished what he had started by going up stairs to beat the Slovakian goal keeper.
The Americans continued to apply pressure and had the Slovaks reeling after tying the game. The U.S scored again just 42 seconds later to take the lead when forward Zach Parise bettered the last defenseman and shot high on Chovan in the Slovak net. The tone of the second period was set by the United States defence which continued to play an effective physical game. The Slovakians’ best chance of the second period came on a 5-on-4 power play in which USA player Gino Guyer lost his stick. Unfortunately for the Slovaks they could not beat Goepfert. The period wound down with the USA up 2-1 a result of their offensive burst early in the period.
The third period began with some stellar saves by Slovakian goaltender Jan Chovan, who kept the game close. Chavon robbed captain Eric Nystrom with a huge glove save as the 3 rd period reached the halfway mark. Shortly thereafter Slovakian defenseman Thomas Slovak was assessed a two-minute minor for elbowing, a 20-minute game misconduct, and a 10-minute unsportsmanlike like conduct for an ugly elbowing incident at 11:36 of the period. On the ensuing power play, American forward Dustin Brown scored to make the score 3-1. Slovakia tried in vain to retaliate on the scoreboard but came up short and the game ended with a 3-1 final score in favor of the U.S. Both teams will now advance to the quarter-finals, the USA finishing second and the Slovaks third in Group A standings.
USA defeats Sloviakia 3 - 1
USA and Slovakia Face-off
Tallackson and his teammates have found their stride and feel confident heading into their final round-robin game against a solid Slovakian squad. The U.S.A has steadily improved offensively since the start of the tournament. Any questions surrounding the Americans’ scoring abilities were answered with Monday’s victory. If not for the outstanding goaltending of Belarus net minder Dzmitry Kamovich, the game could have easily been even more lopsided on the scoreboard.
Another notable addition to the Americans’ improved attack was the heightened physical play of U.S forward Greg Moore. Moore made his presence felt throughout Monday’s contest, throwing a number of impressive body checks in the late stages of the game. The Americans go into their New Year’s Eve game looking to continue their physical game as well as maintain their scoring touch.
Game time is slated for 2 pm at Centre 200 in Sydney.
For more information:
André Brin Director, Communications | Directeur, communications