2021 WJC GAME DAY THREAD: CANADA (1-0-0-0) vs. SLOVAKIA (1-0-0-0)

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2021 WJC GAME DAY THREAD: CANADA (1-0-0-0) vs. SLOVAKIA (1-0-0-0) DEC. 27th, 2020 6pm EST TSN1, 4 and 5

Canada returns to the ice tonight to face the Slovakian team which defeated Switzerland 1-0 on Christmas day. Canada is coming off their big 16-2 win over a depleted German team. Canada could be missing yet another key player as defenceman Braden Schneider likely will be facing supplementary discipline for his hit on Jan-Luca Schumacher in the first period of last night’s game. Center Dylan Cozens had a big game for Canada, scoring 3 goals and adding 3 assists versus Germany. The province of Newfoundland was well represented last night as Dawson Merson notched 2 goals and 2 assists and Alex Newhook added 2 goals and an assist. 

Slovakia has Martin Chromiak at center; he plays with Kingston in the OHL and was drafted by the LA Kings in the 5th round of the 2020 NHL draft. Another player of interest is Juraj Slafkovsky, a 16 year old forward who is already 6’4” and 218 lbs. Obviously too big for a certain NHL GM to have interest though. He has put up some good numbers (22G 30A in 39GP) while playing in Finland’s U18 league. He will be draft eligible in 2022. Samuel Knazko (D) will also be a key player for Slovakia; he was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2020 draft by Columbus. Canada could be facing goaltender Samuel Hlavaj tonight. Hlavaj plays for Sherbrooke in the QMJHL and posted a 33-3-2 record in 2019/20 with a .915 save percentage and a 2.25 GAA. 

Hopefully the Canadian team puts the big win last night in the rear view mirror and focuses solely on this game. Canada last met Slovakia in last year’s quarter-final game, winning 6-1. Canada gets a day off tomorrow before playing Switzerland on Tuesday. Finland takes on the Swiss team today at 2pm. Good opportunity to see the Leaf picks in action again and to scout the next opponent for Canada. Enjoy the games.