Team Slovakia forward Jakub Demek drives wide past a team Germany defenceman and tries to tuck a shot past Florian Bugl in first period pre-tournament action of the 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships at the Centrium on Thursday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Team Slovakia forward Jakub Demek drives wide past a team Germany defenceman and tries to tuck a shot past Florian Bugl in first period pre-tournament action of the 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships at the Centrium on Thursday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Slovakia dominant in lone 2022 World Juniors tune-up game

Thursday night game at Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols

Slovakia 4 Germany 0 (pre-tournament)

Slovakia made a statement in their lone 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships pre-tournament game.

The darkhorse Slovaks, who will play in a tough Group B in Red Deer, made quick work of the Germans on Thursday afternoon in a dominant 4-0 victory at the Peavey Mart Centrium.

“It was a good start for us, we needed an exhibition game before the tournament and we started very good. We had more shots, we were everywhere. Everything was good today,” said Slovakian defenceman Rayen Petrovicky.

Los Angeles Kings prospect Martin Chrominak buried a rebound with just three seconds left in the first period on the power play and that was all Simon Latkoczy needed in the 18-save shutout.

Juraj Slafkovsky scored 1:19 into the second, tipping home a point shot and he assisted on a nice tally from Filip Mesar midway through the frame.

“It was a very good start from us. I think the tempo went down, but it was just an exhibition game so we can keep it up until the tournament starts, we still have two practices so, I think it will be better when the tournament starts,” said the 17-year-old Slafkovsky, who is a highly rated prospect for the 2022 NHL Draft.

The two Slovaks said it will take a pretty simple formula if they hope to upset Sweden or Russia, who are favourites to earn top spot in the group.

“I think the key is to outwork everyone on the ice. Even the teams we think are better, we need to outwork them in every position and I think that’s how our hockey needs to look during the whole tournament,” noted Slafkovsky.

Slovakia will open the tournament on Boxing Day against the U.S.A, with puck drop set for 7:30 p.m. at the Centrium.

Across town, there was some unwelcome news at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. The only pretournament game scheduled for that facility between Czechia and Switzerland was cancelled about 1:30 p.m., because of COVID-19 protocols. Multiple reports indicated that a player from one of the two teams tested positive for COVID-19. Switzerland is scheduled to play in Group B in Red Deer.



byron.hackett@reddeeradvocate.com

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Slovakian standout Juraj Slafkovsky just misses on a backhand breakaway attempt on Team Germany goalie Florian Bugl in first period pre-tournament action of the 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships at the Centrium on Thursday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Slovakian standout Juraj Slafkovsky just misses on a backhand breakaway attempt on Team Germany goalie Florian Bugl in first period pre-tournament action of the 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships at the Centrium on Thursday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)