FeaturedWorld Junior Championship

Godla steals another – Slovaks through to Semis

Slovakia has once more proven that they are no pushover in the hockey world, powering themselves into a semi-final berth with a 3-0 victory over their former other half, Czech Republic. Denis Godla stopped all 36 shots that came his way while Martin Reway added his team-leading fourth goal to give him five points in the tournament.

Michal Kabac opened the scoring for the Slovaks with just over a minute left in the first, with a lucky bounce off Czech goalie Miroslav Svoboda as he attempted a poke check that ricochet off Boston Bruins prospect David Pastrnak to find the back of the net.

The second period was an intense exchange of shots between both teams; the Slovaks withstood an offensive barrage from the Czechs in the first half of the second, but once again, Denis Godla shut the door to keep the Slovaks ahead by one despite being shorthanded several times throughout the remainder of the game. Godla was not alone, though, as the post came in very handy, with a terrible giveaway b y Patrik Koys that would see Anaheim Ducks prospect Ondrej Kase on a breakaway, which struck the upright to keep the Slovaks up 1-0.  The Czechs and Slovaks would exchange shots in the second frame, going 12-12 to put the shooting tally 22-20 in favor of the Czechs.

The third period proved to be decisive, as Peter Cehlarik would win a battle in front of the net by hammering his own rebound home to put the Slovaks up by two with a little less than six minutes left in the game. Martin Reway would go on to add an empty-netter to wrap up the scoring for the night, knocking the Czechs out of the tournament, ensuring a tenth straight year without a medal for the Czechs.

Slovakia next faces Canada in the semi-finals on Sunday. Canada thumped Slovakia in group play, cruising past them 8-0 to kick off the tournament. Slovakia has a chance to win a medal for the first time since getting a bronze in 1999 and will feature in the semi-finals for the first time since getting there in 2009, where they were beaten by Sweden.

Pedro Rengel

Pedro Rengel

Originally hailing from the tropical paradise of Venezuela, I moved to Canada at age 11 for the sole reason of falling in love with hockey as a self-proclaimed Pittsburgh Penguins fan. Now a Canadian citizen, my mad love affair with hockey represents a statistical contribution as opposed to an anomaly. Being able to write this well despite having Spanish as a first language is enough of an anomaly (I'm occasionally biased).
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