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World Championships

Slovaks Upset Canadians In Quarters

Panthers forward Tomas Kopecky opens up scoring in game.

Thursday, 05.17.2012 / 12:13 PM / World Championships
NHL.com

In Helsinki, Michal Handzus' power-play goal with 2:28 left in regulation sparked Slovakia to a 4-3 upset of Canada in the quarterfinals at the 2012 IIHF World Championship on Thursday.

The goal came four seconds after Canada captain Ryan Getzlaf was assessed a five-minute major and a game-misconduct for kneeing Slovakia forward Juraj Mikus.

Handzus tipped an Andrej Sekera point shot past Canada goalie Cam Ward, giving Slovakia its first win against Canada in seven tries, dating to the 2002 World Championship, when Slovakia won its only gold medal.

"He jumped inside on me," Getzlaf said of the play that led to his penalty. "He's a smaller guy. All I tried to do was get a piece of him with my shoulder, which I did. It's a sick way to lose; it's a tough pill to swallow. It hurts. It hurts like hell right now. To lose in that fashion is not easy to swallow. The guys worked way too hard to be delivered something like that."

Slovakia will face the winner of Thursday's quarterfinal game between Sweden and the Czech Republic in one semifinal Saturday.

It's the third straight year Canada has lost in the quarterfinals; they'll finish fifth or sixth, depending on the outcome of Thursday's Russia-Norway quarterfinal.

Slovakia took a 2-0 lead just 9:16 into the game on goals by Tomas Kopecky and Miroslav Satan, but Canada got a goal from Evander Kane before the first period ended, and after Jeff Skinner scored a power-play 6:30 into the second, Alexandre Burrows put Canada ahead with 2:17 left in the second when he shoved a loose puck under goalie Jan Laco. Laco finished with 33 saves on 36 shots.

Slovakia tied the game at 13:25 of the third when a Kane turnover led to a three-on-two break the other way. Milan Bartovic's first shot was blocked, but he beat goalie Cam Ward on the rebound. He finished with 24 saves on 28 shots.

"We're still flying under the radar," Sekera said. "We just tried to play hard 60 minutes as a team, fight for each other, and get the goals. We have a great team, especially off the ice. We help each other and try to make everybody else's life easier and more comfortable."

Kopecky finished with the goal on two shots and 16:53 of ice time and was named Slovakia's best player of the game.

FULL STORY (IIHF.com)
FINAL STATS (IIHF.com)

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
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2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
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9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

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2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
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T. Fleischmann 80 8 20 -18 28
T. Gilbert 73 3 25 -5 28
B. Pirri 49 13 12 6 25
A. Barkov 54 8 16 -3 24
 
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S. Clemmensen 6 7 1 .896 3.09
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