Stars prospect Matej Paulovic registered his first point at the World Junior Championship Sunday, but it came in a losing effort as Slovakia fell, 5-1, to Canada in the semifinals.
Paulovic and Slovakia will play Sweden for the bronze medal at the tournament on Monday afternoon. Canada will play Russia for the gold Monday night.
Nic Petan scored three goals for Canada, which outshot Slovakia 44-15 in the game. The Canadians built a 3-0 lead, but Slovakia got on the board in the final seconds of the second period when Paulovic got to a loose puck and set up David Soltes, who redirected the puck into the net to cut Canada’s lead to 3-1. Canada scored two more goals in the third to seal the victory and will shoot for their first gold medal at the World Juniors since 2009.
Paulovic played on Slovakia’s fourth line. He had one assist, one shot on goal, a plus-one rating and won three of five faceoffs.
In the other semifinal game, Russia defeated Sweden, 4-1, to advance to the gold medal game for the first time since 2012. Alexander Sharov scored twice for the Russians, who will be looking to win their first goal medal since defeating Canada at the 2011 tournament in Buffalo.
Russia 4, Sweden 1
Canada 5, Slovakia 1
Monday’s games (Times are Central)
Bronze medal: Slovakia vs. Sweden, 3 p.m. (NHL Network – US)
Gold medal: Canada vs. Russia, 7 p.m. (NHL Network – US)