Canada was able to battle back from a two-goal deficit and pick up a 6-3 win over Slovakia on Friday, staying undefeated at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Calgary Flames prospect Tyler Wotherspoon notched his second point in the tournament with an assist on Ryan Strome's third period marker. He scored a goal in Canada's 9-3 win over Germany on Wednesday.
The Canadian squad ran into penalty trouble in exhibition play this year and that issue came up again on Friday. Two forwards, JC Lipon and Anthony Camara, were handed game misconducts and may be subject to further disciplinary action from the IIHF.
This will be a storyline to watch as Canada is already down one forward on Sunday in their battle with the Americans as Boone Jenner will be serving the final game of his suspension.
The Canada-USA game can be seen on TSN and the NHL Network on Dec. 30 at 2:00 AM MT.
Slovakian forward Marko Dano gave his country the early lead when he was able to shovel in a loose puck that was bouncing through the blueline. Matus Matis and Tomas Mikus earned the assists on the opening tally.
Mikus made it 2-0 at 15:28 of the first period with a power play marker, snapping a pass from Martin Reway over Malcom Subban from the left faceoff circle. Dano picked up his second point of the game with an assist on the goal.
Strome cut the Slovaks lead in half early in the second period. He skated through the zone and ripped a wrist shot past Adam Nagy for his second goal of the tournament. Jonathan Drouin and Morgan Rielly recorded the assists.
Camara hit defenceman Patrik Luza after the Canadian goal and was assessed a charging call and a game misconduct. Shortly after, Strome took a tripping penalty and Dano made it 3-1 on the ensuing five-on-three power play, potting his second goal against Canada.
Slovakia ran into penalty woes after their third goal and that lack of discipline could be attributed to the game shifting in Canada's favour.
Dano and Richard Buri took minors 18 seconds apart and Canada was able to convert on their two-man advantage. Morgan Rielly's hard blast from the right circle deflected off Slovakian defenceman Branislav Rapac and into the back of the net.
With Martin Reway in the sin bin for cross-checking, Airdrie product Ty Rattie tied the game up. Blueliners Xavier Oullet and Rielly assisted on the power play goal.
Mark Scheifele deflected Oullet's shot past Nagy with less than a minute left in the second frame to give Canada their first lead of the game.
The Canadians kept it coming in the third period with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Strome scoring.
Scheifele and Dano earned the Player of the Game awards for their respective performances.
CANADA'S LINES, DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS & GOALTENDER
Jonathan Huberdeau - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Mark Scheifele
Jonathan Drouin - Ryan Strome - Brett Ritchie
Philip Danault - Mark McNeill - JC Lipon
Anthony Camara - Nathan MacKinnon - Ty Rattie
Scott Harrington - Dougie Hamilton
Morgan Rielly - Tyler Wotherspoon
Griffin Reinhart - Xavier Ouellet