CANADA TOPS SLOVAKIA IN THRILLER AT WORLDS
KOSICE, Slovakia – Mark Stone (Winnipeg, Man./Vegas, NHL) made it a birthday to remember, registering the game-winning goal on the power play with 1.8 seconds left to lift Canada’s National Men’s Team to a back-and-forth 6-5 victory over Slovakia on Monday at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
Stone beat the buzzer by rifling a wrist shot from the face-off circle past the left shoulder of Slovakian netminder Marek Cilak to net Canada’s third man-advantage goal of the game.
Special teams made a significant difference as the Canadians erased a pair of two-goal deficits; the power play went 3-for-4, while the penalty kill was a perfect 5-for-5.
Shea Theodore (Langley, B.C./Vegas, NHL) and Anthony Mantha (Longueuil, Que./Detroit, NHL) led the way with a goal and an assist apiece. Jonathan Marchessault (Cap-Rouge, Que./Vegas, NHL), Anthony Cirelli (Woodbridge, Ont./Tampa Bay, NHL) and Troy Stecher (Richmond, B.C./Vancouver, NHL) also lit the lamp for Canada, and Thomas Chabot (Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, Que./Ottawa, NHL) notched two assists.
Matt Murray (Thunder Bay, Ont./Pittsburgh, NHL) made 26 saves to earn the win.
Slovakia scored goals 64 seconds apart to take an early lead before the game was 10 minutes old. Matus Sukel and Adam Liska scored at 7:14 and 8:18, respectively, by poking home rebounds in the crease.
Canada struck back with goals 1:50 apart late in the frame as Kyle Turris (New Westminster, B.C./ Nashville, NHL) set up Mantha for a one-timer on an odd-man break at 16:20, and Theodore found the target on the power play with a wrist shot at 18:10.
The host nation put Canada back in a two-goal hole early in the second period as Ladislav Nagy and Liska made it a 4-2 game with just over five minutes gone.
But the Canadians surged to take their first lead; Marchessault cut the deficit to one on a power play with a five-hole shot at 7:01, Cirelli tied the game by batting in a loose puck in tight at 8:43 and Stecher netted a shot from the perimeter at 16:20.
Sukel scored his second goal with 8:15 remaining in the third period to set the stage for Stone’s dramatics.
Canada will go for three wins in a row Thursday against France (10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. ET).