Historically, shootouts have been a more popular means for deciding hockey games in Europe than North America. When in Slovakia …
Canada beat the United States, 4-3, in qualification-round play in Kosice, getting shootout goals from Rick Nash and Jordan Eberle to seal the win. Ty Conklin made 48 saves between regulation and overtime, but couldn’t stop either shootout attempt he faced. Kings defenseman Jack Johnson, who went first, and Blake Wheeler missed on both U.S. shots.
Johnson scored his first goal of the tournament in the second period to temporarily give the U.S. a 2-1 lead. He finished a plus-1 in 28 minutes, including more than half (2:38) of the overtime period.
Just as they would in an NHL game, the U.S. gets a point for the shootout loss. They moved into sole possession of fourth place in Group F, from which four teams will advance into the next (playoff) round. Canada leads the group with seven points.
Later Friday, Michal Handzus and Team Slovakia lost 3-2 to the rival Czechs, crushing their chances of advancing out of the Qualification Round. Now, according to IIHF.com, Slovakia needs to win its games against Finland and Denmark, and Finland shouldn’t take points in its last game against Russia.
Handzus played a scoreless 18:56 in the game, which was played in Bratislava, less than three hours from Handzus’ hometown of Banska Bystrica.
Martin Havlat, Marek Zidlicky and Patrik Elias scored for the Czechs.
Jonathan Bernier is expected to start for Team Canada tomorrow against Norway.