One knockout down, two to go. After cruising past Denmark in an 8-0 rout, Team Canada returns to the Air Canada Centre tonight to take on Slovakia. It’s a game we’ve already seen, but will the same result carry over?
We’re likely going to see a very similar roster to the one that’s been playing throughout the tournament, with the exception of Robby Fabbri, who is out for the remainder of the tournament with a high ankle sprain. I guess this means Brayden Point will have a regular line to play on, rather than be a utility forward. Expected lines:
Max Domi – Sam Reinhart – Anthony Duclair
Jake Virtanen – Connor McDavid – Curtis Lazar
Nick Paul – Nic Petan – Brayden Point
Lawson Crouse – Frederik Gauthier – Nick Ritchie
Josh Morrissey – Madison Bowey
Darnell Nurse – Shea Theodore
Sam Morin – Joe Hicketts
Similarly, I’ll bet that Slovakia carries over their roster from their game against the Czech Republic, which they won 3-0. Expected lineups are as follows (with the wingers probably in the wrong order):
Martin Reway – Robert Lantosi – Peter Cehlarik
Patrik Koys – Matus Sukel – Pavol Skalicky
Samuel Petras – Radovan Bondra – Michael Kabac
Dominik Rehak – David Soltes – Matej Paulovic
Mislav Rosdanic – Erik Cernak
Matus Holenda – Christian Jaros
Patric Bacik – Marco Hochel
There’s no reason to expect anybody other than Zach Fucale in net for Canada, particularly with a couple days rest and a quarterfinal shutout to his name. On the other side, Dennis Godla has maintained a 0.935 save percentage despite his first game against Canada, and is likely the best option that the Slovaks have.
Keys To Victory
Canada has to go into this game with the same mindset they had before puck drop on Boxing Day, and not after the final buzzer. It’s now a do-or-die game, and Slovakia will be coming in hungry and with knowledge of how the Canadian team operates. If the red and white walk in thinking they can lay back and win the game at will, they may be unpleasantly surprised. If they come in just as eager as before, another 8-0 victory may not be out reach.
Puck drop is at 8PM.