International Ice Hockey Federation

Slovakia takes down Germany

Slovakia takes down Germany

Three first-period goals help Slovaks make QF

Published 30.12.2014 23:22 GMT-5 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Slovakia takes down Germany
MONTREAL, CANADA - DECEMBER 30: Germany's Yannik Moser #18 jumps on a loose puck with Slovakia's David Soltes #21 during preliminary round action at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images)
Martin Reway scored a hat trick as Slovakia beat Germany 5-2 on Tuesday. Completing their round-robin, the Slovaks secured third place in Group A.

"It’s a good feeling for us," said Reway, a Montreal Canadiens draft pick who had his best outing of the tournament at the Bell Centre. "We believed we can do this, and we are in third place. So that’s good for us, and also good for the rankings for next year. It’s good for the future of Slovakia.

Germany must now beat the Finns on New Year’s Eve in a showdown to gain the last Group A quarter-final berth and avoid relegation play.

Heading into the quarter-finals, Slovakia is hoping to improve on the eighth-place finishes that it posted the last two years under head coach Ernest Bokros. The Slovaks have only medaled once at this tournament, a bronze medal in Winnipeg (1999).

The scrappy Germans have finished ninth the last two years, and just staying in the elite division for another year would be a triumph for them.

Slovak goalie Denis Godla, who became a crowd favourite with his strong performances versus Finland and the United States, got his second World Junior victory. Ilja Sharipov took the loss for Germany. Slovakia outshot the Germans 35-30.

Robert Lantosi and Matus Sukel also scored for Slovakia, while Frederik Tiffels replied with a pair for Germany.

"I can’t say I minded the way we started the game," said German coach Pat Cortina. "Then we made some individual mistakes in the first period, and they capitalized on every one of those mistakes. Before we knew it, we were behind 3-0, and then it’s catch-up hockey, and that’s always difficult to play against a team like Slovakia."

Lantosi opened the scoring, taking a long pass from Peter Cehlarik and busting into the clear. He gave a head fake and went to the forehand deke, celebrating as Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction” pumped from the PA.

That proved appropriate, as what happened next destroyed Germany's hopes of victory.

At 13:10, Slovakia went up 2-0, capitalizing on a Marc Michaelis turnover inside the German blue line. Reway grabbed the puck and dropped it to David Soltes before alertly rushing to the net to bang in the rebound from Soltes’ shot.

Less than two minutes later, it was 3-0 Slovakia. Assistant captain Patrik Koys did his best Wayne Gretzky imitation, stickhandling behind the net before dishing it in front to a streaking Sukel, who fired it past Sharipov.

The Germans had a nice chance to get back into it late in the first period when Cehlarik was sent off with a double minor for high-sticking defenceman Jonas Muller in the face. And they made a little headway.

On the power play, Tiffels scored Germany’s first goal of the tournament at 18:46, grabbing a Dominik Kahun rebound in the slot and beating a sprawling Godla. The Germans came close to adding another one just before the siren, but Godla squeezed his pads to deny them.

"We got the quick goal and we thought we’d come back," Kahun said. "But it wasn’t enough."

In a scoreless second period, the Germans squandered two more man advantages.

Reway made it 4-1 at 4:05 of the third, stealing the puck after Sharipov mishandled it behind the net and wrapping it into the gaping cage.

Sharipov did his best to make amends shortly afterwards with a glove save on Pavol Skalicky's breakaway.

Tiffels cut the deficit to 4-2 on a penalty shot after Erik Cernak interfered with him on a clear-cut opportunity. He beat Godla high to the glove with a quick snap shot at 5:36.

The Slovak goalie made a great sliding save off Muller with about nine minutes left to maintain the two-goal gap.

Koys was shaken up near the German blue line in a collision with defenceman Tim Bender, who had his knee out. That gave the Slovaks their first power play of the game. It became a two-man advantage after Fabio Pfohl ran over Godla, who'd come out to play the puck.

Tiffels got a shorthanded breakaway but couldn't capitalize on it.

"Today I think everybody’s sad and kind of mad that we lost," said Tiffels. "It’s obviously good to have a second chance. We definitely have a chance tomorrow."

Against Slovakia, it was all too little, too late for the Germans. They pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, but that just enabled Reway to complete his hat trick. The Slovak captain scored from center ice into the empty net in the final minute.

"We have to learn from this one, and we have to learn fast," said Cortina. "Finland’s the defending champion. They’re a pretty good team. They’ve come along well as they’ve progressed in the tournament. We’d better be on top of our game, and think simple, solid, defensive ice hockey. Otherwise, it’ll be difficult tomorrow."

Despite their success, the Slovaks don't have elaborate plans for New Year's Eve, according to Reway: "I don’t think we can celebrate. We are not able to. I think we’re going to have some special dinner with the coaches. It’s like every year. Some guys are sick, so we’ve got to take care that they will be healthy for the next game. It’s going to be just a little dinner and we'll just think about the next game."


Back to Overview