WJC: Slovakia 1, Canada 3
They can't all be routs against understaffed teams.
"I think we grew as a group tonight," Team Canada coach Andre Tourigny said of his team. "We learned to go though adversity and learned to keep our compsure."
Team Canada received a tougher test in their 3-2 victory against Team Slovakia on Sunday. Philip Tomasino continued scored the game-winning goal and added an assist as in the second preliminary round game for the team at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.
Jordan Spence and Jack Quinn also had goals in the victory.
Spence scored at 4:08 of the first period and made his tournament debut after it was announced earlier on Sunday that forward Dylan Holloway would miss the game with an upper-body injury.
"It was my first shift and there was puck in the corner pinch it in," Spence said. "There was a loose puck in front of the net and it came right to me."
Spence earned his spot in the lineup after Canada learned that defenceman Braden Schenider would miss the game after serving a one-game suspension for a check to the head of Team Germany's Jan-Luca Schumacher in the team's 16-2 win on Saturday.
"He had a really good game against Russia (pre-competition game)," Tourigny said of Spence. "We know he could be a really good player, he's good with the puck, I'm really happy for him, he was ready."
Samuel Hlavaj was solid in goal for Slovakia (1-0-0-1). He made 20 saves in his tournament debut and made a strong case to be the team's starting goaltender going forward.
"It's Canada, we expect the worst," Hlavaj said. "We played a really good game and they had nothing to do in our D-zone."
Hlavaj weathered a storm in the first period. Slovakia appeared slow at the start and didn't register their first shot on goal in the game until 5:56 of the first period.
Canada outshot Slovakia 9-4 after the opening 20 minutes.
Slovakia didn't register their first shot on goal until 5:56 of the first period.
Devon Levi made 17 saves and wasn't tested often in goal for Canada in the first 40 minutes, but when he was, he had to make some difficult saves.
Slovakian forward Juraj Slavkovsky had a pair of scoring chances, including one while alone in the slot in the final seconds of the second period.
The Slovaks had more jump in the middle frame and Canada's shot lead after 40 minutes was 16-8. They continued to pressure and Levi continued to answer bell.
Canada hasn't named a starting goaltender for the tournament, but Levi's performance on Sunday made it difficult to believe otherwise.
"He didn't do anything to put him down in the order, that's for sure," Tourigny said of Levi. "We'll talk to the coaches about the next game but we're going one game at a time."
Slovakia came out hard with several several opportunities late in the third period, including a power play opportunity at 13:37, but Levi held steady.
Shortly after the penalty, Tomasino scored and gave Canada a 2-0 lead at 16:25.
Martin Chromiak scored Slovakia's lone goal on the power play at 18:36 of the third period and brought Canada's lead to 2-1.
Quinn sealed the victory for Canada as he scored into an empty net at 19:47.
Canada outshot Slovakia 22-18.
Canada gets a day off of competition before taking on the a winless Team Switzerland on Tuesday. Slovakia is right back in action on Monday against Germany.