AUGSBURG, Germany – Kevin Clark (Winnipeg, Man./Brynäs IF, SHL) and Greg Scott (Victoria, B.C./CSKA Moscow, KHL) contributed a goal and an assist each, but Canada’s National Men’s Team ended up on the wrong end of a 4-3 shootout decision against Slovakia on Saturday at the 2016 Deutschland Cup.
The win puts the Slovaks atop the standings with five points, with Canada right behind at four. The team with the best round-robin record after Sunday’s games will win the tournament.
Matt Ellison (Duncan, B.C./HC Dinamo Minsk, KHL) scored the other Canadian goal, while goaltender Barry Brust (Swan River, Man./HC Slovan Bratislava, KHL) took the loss in his first start between the pipes.
Clark scored the opening goal at the 7:49 mark of the first period off a set-up from Nick Petersen (Wakefield, Que./Eisbären Berlin, DEL), but Martin Gernat replied for Slovakia just under three minutes later, sending the teams to the first intermission in a 1-1 tie.
Slovakia lost, then retook the lead in the second period thanks to three goals in 79 seconds.
Andrej Kudrna scored shorthanded for Slovakia just before the 12-minute mark of the middle frame, only to have Ellison strike back with a goal of his own for the Canadians 39 seconds later.
It took only 40 ticks for the Slovak lead to be restored, with Adam Janosik doing the honours at 13:10.
After outshooting Slovakia 18-10 through the first two periods, Canada dominated in the third, firing 13 shots on Slovak netminder Jaroslav Janus against only three on Brust.
But only one of those pucks would beat Janus; Clark fed Scott for the 3-3 goal with just over 12 minutes to go, forcing overtime and eventually a shootout.
After the first four shooters came up empty, captain Vladislav Dravecky beat Brust with the third Slovakian attempt, and Janus turned away Paul Szczechura to clinch the win.
Canada is right back on the ice Sunday for its tournament finale, taking on Germany (10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT) at Curt-Frenzel-Stadion. It will know by the time it steps on the ice whether a win will give it a fifth gold medal.
Team Canada plays Germany on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 10:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. MT.
Head coach, Dave King:
“We played a good puck control game, and had a good territorial edge. Team Slovakia’s goalie was the difference in the outcome.”
“I thought our team played a great game, and it was a tough loss, but now we need to look ahead and focus on tomorrow’s game against Germany.”
Canada has taken part in the tournament on 17 occasions (1992-2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014), winning four gold medals (2000, 2002, 2005, 2008).