2003 IIHF World Junior Championship

Slovakia 1
United States 3
Round Robin
Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Sydney, NS

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.

Craig Ryan


USA defeats Sloviakia 3 - 1

Despite a feverish assault by the Slovaks in the third period, the USA hung on to defeat them 3-1 and claim second place in the final standings of Group A. The Americans will now face either the Czechs or Swedes in the quarter-finals while the Slovaks will face either Canada or Finland. (full story to come)

USA takes a 2 - 1 lead over Slovakia

The U.S. rallied from a 1-0 deficit to take a 2-1 lead over Slovakia after two periods of play in Sydney. Christopher Higgins and Zack Parise scored for the Americans. Shots are 17-15 in favour of the Slovaks. The loser of this game will almost certainly play the loser of tonight's Canada-Finland game in the quarter-finals.

Slovakia leads USA 1 - 0

Juraj Sykora scored in the first period to give Slovakia a 1-0 lead over USA in Group A action in Sydney Nova Scotia. The Slovaks had a great chance to increase their lead when they had a lengthy two-man advantage but failed to score. Jan Chovan is the goalie for the Slovaks and Robert Goepfert is in net for the Americans.

Box Score












Scoring/Buts :
07.31 1 - 0 EQ SVK 10. SYKORA, Juraj ( 8. GRANAK, Dominik 29. KOKAVEC, Michal)

Penalties/Pénalités :
17.59 2 min USA 5. GREENE, Matt ROUGH
14.40 2 min USA 5. GREENE, Matt CROSS
14.13 2 min USA 3. JONES, Matt HI-ST
11.56 2 min SVK 29. KOKAVEC, Michal INTRF
02.49 2 min SVK 8. GRANAK, Dominik INTRF
Scoring/Buts :
25.44 1 - 2 EQ USA 11. PARISE, Zach (21. NYSTROM, Eric 7. SUTER, Ryan)
25.02 1 - 1 EQ USA 18. HIGGINS, Christopher (10. HELMINEN, Dwight 17. KESLER, Ryan)

Penalties/Pénalités :
39.33 2 min USA 14. GUYER, Gino ROUGH
34.32 2 min USA 23. BROWN, Dustin SLASH
Scoring/Buts :
52.19 1 - 3 PP1 USA 23. BROWN, Dustin (21. NYSTROM, Eric 11. PARISE, Zach)

Penalties/Pénalités :
60.00 2 min USA 19. WHITNEY, Ryan SLASH
60.00 2 min USA 19. WHITNEY, Ryan TRIP
52.19 10 min SVK 27. SLOVAK, Tomas ABUSE
52.19 20 min SVK 27. SLOVAK, Tomas GA-MI
51.15 2 min SVK 27. SLOVAK, Tomas ELBOW

Players of the Game SVK Unavailable
Joueurs du partie USA Unavailable

Goaltenders SVK 29. GOEPFERT, Robert
Gardiens de but USA 29. GOEPFERT, Robert

Shots on Goal by Shots on Goal by





Shots on Goal by SVK





Tirs au but par USA





Officials Referee/Arbitre RADBJER, Ulf
Officiels Linesmen/Juges des lignes KRONBORG, Lars CORMIER, Michel

Attendance/Assistance -,---

USA and Slovakia Face-off

Team USA is coming off an impressive 8-2 shelling of team Belarus in a game that the Americans dominated physically as well as on the scoreboard. American forward Barry Tallackson scored two goals 22 seconds apart and was a key to the Americans offensive superiority.

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.

The United States has continued to improve on special teams as well, notching three of their goals on the power play. They played well-rounded, offensive-minded hockey against Belarus and hope their style will translate into continued success in their final game of round robin action.

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.

Looking to end the United States winning ways, Team Slovakia is riding its own momentum heading into the meeting. The Slovaks downed Switzerland in their most recent outing by a score of 3-0. After a slow start Team Slovakia now finds itself in the quarter-final picture and the result of the pending game with the U.S will determine teams positioning in the quarterfinal brackets.

Game time is slated for 2 pm at Centre 200 in Sydney.

Craig Ryan
Sydney Reporter

For more information:
André Brin Director, Communications | Directeur, communications