Slovakia 5, USA 4 (OT)

Go off, Marty.

Go all the way off.

Martin Pospisil set up the OT winner and finished with a team-leading three assists, as the Slovaks knocked off the Americans 5-4 after blowing a three-goal, third-period lead.

Pospisil showed great composure in the 3-on-3 session, hanging on to the puck while circling the zone, before dropping a pass to Simon Nemec at the point. Nemec’s wrister was tipped home by Milos Kelemen at the net-front for the winning tally.

Pospisil, meanwhile, finished with 16:42 in ice time and was an impressive 60% (8-4) in the faceoff dot, as he continues to show comfort at centre after playing on Nazem Kadri’s wing for most of the 2023-24 NHL season.

He now leads the tournament with two goals and four helpers in only three games.

Trailing 4-1 after 40 minutes, the Americans – led by Shane Pinto, Brady Tkachuk and Luke Hughes – staged a furious, three-goal rally to send the game to overtime.

Pinto’s goal breathed life into the American side at 4:32 of the third, before Tkachuk scored the goal of the tournament with a sublime solo effort, turning Patrik Koch inside out down the right side and slipping a shot five-hole. Hughes then tied it with a snapper from the right circle with 3:22 to play.

Kelemen and Libor Hudacek supplied the early offence in a first period that saw the Slovaks widely out-play their American counterparts.

Kelemen opened the scoring at 3:17, converting a beautiful spin-around centring pass from Matus Sukel, as Seth Jones and Michael Eyssimont were caught puck-watching. Hudacek then made it 2-0 at 11:26, plunging home a loose puck off the rush after Tomas Tatar made a move to the net.

Pospisil got in on the action at the end of the first, engaging Tkachuk at the buzzer and wrestling with the American captain before the fracas was eventually broken up.


The Americans firmly tilted in the ice in the middle frame, but despite out-shooting the Slovaks 21-7, the deficit would only grow larger.

Matt Boldy trimmed the lead less than five minutes into the stanza, but then…

A Marty Party broke out.

Pospisil set up Nemec to restore his team’s two-goal lead at 7:03, before picking up the primary helper on Patrik Koch’s 4-1 tally – a blast from the point that eluded Alex Nedeljkovic, only seconds after the Flames winger was given a point-blank chance in tight, but had the puck bounce over his stick.

“He has been an agitator in this game,” play-by-play man Bryan Mudryk said of Pospisil, who was the subject of almost every timeout and intermission panel. “My goodness, he has certainly put his stamp on this game.”

“Edgy, to say the least,” analyst and and three-time Cup winner, Brian Engblom, added in the third.

Indeed, the 24-year-old was in the middle of everything.

And now, the entire hockey world is beginning to take notice.