by The Canadian Press
December 30, 2013, MALMÖ, Sweden (ISN) – Nothing is easy for this Canadian team at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Jonathan Drouin (Huberdeau, Que./Halifax, QMJHL) redeemed himself after a bad penalty on his first shift by scoring the tying goal and Nic Petan (Delta, B.C./Portland, WHL) rediscovered his scoring touch in time to get the game-winner and an empty-netter as Canada used a three-goal third period to down Slovakia 5-3 on Monday.
The win left Canada (2-0-1) two points behind the United States (3-0-0) heading into a showdown for first place in the last preliminary round game for both squads on Tuesday.
“We regrouped, we found a way,” said coach Brent Sutter. “In the third, I thought we dominated. (It) was maybe the best period we’ve played in the tournament so far.”
It was the best played and most rousing of the three games the team has played in Malmö, and it certainly brought the mostly Canadian crowd of 2,558 at the Isstadion to their feet as Canada bounced back from penalty trouble and 3-1 second-period deficit to win.
Zach Fucale (Rosemère, Que./Halifax, QMJHL) made 19 saves for the win in his first start of the tournament and Sutter said the goalie will be in net again against the Americans.
Anthony Mantha (Longueuil, Que./Val-d’Or, QMJHL) had a goal and three assists to give him nine points in three games.
Curtis Lazar (Vernon, B.C./Edmonton, WHL) also scored for Canada.
David Griger, with two, and Martin Reway scored for Slovakia (1-2-0).
Drouin tied the game at 14:02 of the third period after Mantha beat 16-year-old Erik Cernak behind the Slovak goal and fed it in front.
Canada was on a power play when Petan walked out from the right side and threaded a goal through traffic.
For the third straight game Canada gave up the first goal, this time after Drouin got a minor and a misconduct for a hit to the head only 10 seconds in. Griger took Jakub Predajniansky’s shot off the end boards and scored into an open side past Fucale.
Drouin did not see the ice again until Canada’s power play at 16:49, but it was Lazar who scored on a one-timer off Mantha’s pass after extended pressure in the Slovak zone at 18:20.
A pair of two-man advantages produced goals for the Slovaks in the second frame.
The first saw Reway score his fourth of the tournament with a quick shot from a Kolena feed, and then Griger get his second of the game into an open side from Reway’s pass.
Canada got one back before the third period as Mantha camped on the doorstep and banged in an Aaron Ekblad (Belle River, Ont./Barrie, OHL) rebound at 17:00.