CGD: Canada looks to continue their hot start against Slovakia

Canada’s opening day 5-3 victory over Russia showed us a couple of things. For starters, this year’s Team Canada has a real shot at competing. The team is structured well with a team-based approach in their systems and having all five players on the same page while on the ice. The game also displayed the immense skill that Canada possesses. Dylan Strome, Tyson Jost, Matthew Barzal and Pierre Luc Dubois, among others, have the traits to become dominant players for Canada. 

While Canada did pull off a convincing victory over Russia, no indications have been made as to who will be the team’s starting goaltender moving forward. Tonight, Connor Ingram will take the reigns from Connor Hart and start between the pipes as Canada faces off against Slovakia.

Puck drop is slated for 8pm ET and you can catch tonight’s game and all the World Junior action on TSN.

Canada 

Name Team POS Hand Age HT WT DRAFT
Carter Hart Everett (WHL) G L 18 6’1″ 170 Phi 2016
Connor Ingram Kamloops (WHL) G L 19 6’1″ 195 Tam 2016
Jake Bean Calgary (WHL) D L 18 6’1″ 170 Car 2016
Thomas Chabot Saint John (QMJHL) D L 19 6’2″ 188 Ott 2015
Kale Clague Brandon (WHL) D L 18 6’0″ 177 LA 2016
Dante Fabbro Boston University (NCAA) D R 18 6’1″ 190 Nsh 2016
Noah Juulsen Everett (WHL) D R 19 6’2″ 185 Mtl 2015
Jeremy Lauzon Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) D L 19 6’2″ 207 Bos 2015
Philippe Myers Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) D L 19 6’4″ 206 Phi 2015
Mathew Barzal Seattle (WHL) F R 19 6’0″ 187 NYI 2015
Anthony Cirelli Oshawa (OHL) F L 19 6’0″ 165 Tam 2015
Dillon Dube Kelowna (WHL) F L 18 5’10” 180 Cgy 2016
Pierre-Luc Dubois Cape Breton (QMJHL) F L 18 6’3″ 202 Clb 2016
Julien Gauthier Val d’Or (QMJHL) F R 19 6’4″ 224 Car 2016
Mathieu Joseph Saint John (QMJHL) F L 19 6’1″ 171 Tam 2015
Tyson Jost North Dakota (NCAA) F L 18 6’0″ 190 Col 2016
Michael McLeod Mississauga (OHL) F R 18 6’2″ 187 NJ 2016
Taylor Raddysh Erie (OHL) F R 18 6’2″ 209 Tam 2016
Nicolas Roy Chicoutimi (QMJHL) F R 19 6’4″ 202 Car 2015
Blake Speers Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) F R 19 6’0″ 184 NJ 2015
Mitchell Stephens Saginaw (OHL) F R 19 6’0″ 195 Tam 2015
Dylan Strome Erie (OHL) F L 19 6’3″ 194 Ari 2015

What to expect? Expect a victory, but not an easy one. It’s pretty evident that Canada should be winning this game. But then again, let’s not undermine the talent on Slovakia’s roster. Adam Hushka, Slovakia’s goaltender, is the driving force of their team. The University of Connecticut product was a seventh round selection by the New York Rangers in 2015 and is suiting up for his second U-20 tournament. 

X Factor: Consistency. Canadian teams have struggled with this in the last few tournaments. You need to play a hard 60 minutes to win games and if you don’t give it your all for a period or two, opposing teams will make you pay.

Who to look out for? Look out for Tyson Jost. Jost, 18, shined in Canada’s first game against Russia as he brought the Air Canada Centre to ear piercing noise levels when he scored the game’s first goal. The University of North Dakota product looks to play an integral role for Canada going forward and the comparisons to former University of North Dakota forward, Jonathan Toews aren’t far off. 

Be sure to keep your eye on Connor Ingram tonight as well. Despite a matchup against a weaker opponent, Ingram needs to display his A-game as the battle for the team’s starting goaltender remains open.

Slovakia

No Name Shoots/Catches Height,cm/ft in Weight,kg/lbs Date of Birth Club
Goalkeepers
1 DURNY Roman R 187/6′2″ 93/205 28 May 1998 Orange 20 Bratislava
2 TOMEK Matej L 190/6′3″ 73/161 24 May 1997 University of North Dakota
30 HUSKA Adam L 190/6′3″ 86/190 12 May 1997 University of Connecticut
Defenders
3 BODAK Martin R 181/5′11″ 88/194 28 Nov 1998 Tappara Tampere
4 KOSECKY Oliver R 183/6′0″ 82/181 25 Feb 1997 Orange 20 Bratislava
5 ROMAN Michal L 186/6′1″ 77/170 15 Dec 1997 Ocelari Trinec
6 FEHERVARY Martin L 180/5′11″ 76/168 6 Oct 1999 IF Malmo Redhawks
7 HAIN Samuel R 184/6′0″ 85/187 3 Apr 1997 Orange 20 Bratislava
14 CERNAK Erik R 192/6′4″ 92/203 28 May 1997 Erie Otters
16 HATALA Andrej R 180/5′11″ 85/187 26 Feb 1997 Dukla Trencin
17 GRMAN Mario R 186/6′1″ 90/198 11 Apr 1997 Orange 20 Bratislava
Forwards
8 HECL Marek L 175/5′9″ 74/163 30 Dec 1997 Orange 20 Bratislava
11 BONDRA Radovan L 196/6′5″ 94/207 27 Jan 1997 Vancouver Giants
12 STUDENIC Marian R 183/6′0″ 75/165 28 Oct 1998 Hamilton Bulldogs
15 SLOBODA Marek L 182/6′0″ 82/181 1 Nov 1997 Orange 20 Bratislava
18 SADECKY Boris L 183/6′0″ 84/185 20 Apr 1997 Orange 20 Bratislava
20 RUZICKA Adam L 194/6′4″ 95/209 11 May 1999 Sarnia Sting
22 PATAKY Oliver L 176/5′9″ 75/165 26 Apr 1997 Orange 20 Bratislava
23 ANDRISIK Martin L 189/6′2″ 93/205 24 Jan 1997 Orange 20 Bratislava
25 STRUSKA Miroslav L 185/6′1″ 80/176 4 Jan 1997 Orange 20 Bratislava
26 ROMAN Milos L 180/5′11″ 88/194 6 Nov 1999 Ocelari Trinec
27 LESTAN Filip L 193/6′4″ 85/187 26 Nov 1997 HV71 Jonkoping
29 OSKO Patrik L 190/6′3″ 85/187 9 Jan 1997 Orange 20 Bratislava

Firepower: Slovakia is well equipped with NHL-drafted talent. Along with their goaltender Adam Huska, they have Erik Cernak, a second round selection of the LA Kings in 2015, who will be suiting up for his fourth U-20 tournament. Along with that, they have Adam Ruzicka of the Sarnia Sting. Ruzicka is draft eligible for this coming year’s draft and currently has 22 points in 32 games thus far in his first OHL season. 

Fun Fact: Slovakia won bronze two years ago and a handful of players on this years team were a part of Slovakia’s exciting journey to that medal.