World Junior Championship: Canada completes comeback against Slovakia

Bruce Bennett

Canada is now in position to win Group A at the World Junior Championship with a win over the United States on Tuesday after a comeback victory against Slovakia.

After a disappointing finish against the Czech Republic on Saturday, Canada was hoping to rebound with a victory against Slovakia. While the heavy favorite eventually earned a 5-3 decision in its favor, Canada required four goals in the third period to earn the result.

Slovakia opened the scoring 100 seconds into the opening stanza with a tally from undrafted forward David Griger, while Canada was able to pull even with two minutes left in the first with a goal from Curtis Lazar. The game started to drift away from Canada during a penalty-filled second period. Slovakia benefited from multiple 5-on-3 advantages, both of which resulted in highlight reel goals.

The first came with a fantastic display of passing and was finished off by Martin Reway:

Reway also recorded an assist on the first goal, as well as the third goal, which was also scored by Griger:

The goal was scored almost immediately after the first of two penalties expired. It would be Slovakia's last of the contest.

With three minutes remaining in the second, Anthony Mantha scored to cut the Slovakian lead in half. Mantha had scored a hat trick against Germany earlier in the tournament and is now tied with Reway for the tournament scoring lead. Canada tied the contest with six minutes remaining on the back of a goal from Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Jonathan Drouin, and was led to victory with a strike from Nic Petan (Petan added an empty-net goal at the end of the game).

Canada earned three points with the regulation win, which sets up an enticing meeting with the United States on Tuesday. With another regulation win, Canada can win Group A:

Games Played Wins Overtime Wins Losses Overtime Losses Points
United States 3 3 0 0 0 9
Canada 3 2 0 0 1 7
Slovakia 3 1 0 2 0 3
Germany 4 1 0 3 0 3
Czech Republic 3 0 1 2 0 2

Slovakia will also be in action on Tuesday when it faces the Czech Republic.

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