Slovakia Beats Australia 12-3, Will Fight for 9th Place Tomorrow – 06.12.2018

The only head-to-head encounter between Australia and Slovakia in the history of world championship was played in Riga two years ago and the Slovaks won 12-2. The team from Central Europe was the better side today as well and deservedly won. Slovakia’s MVP Martin Kubovič assisted on Gašparík’s game-winning goal and collected 4 points (2+2) in the match. Tomorrow, both teams play will one more game that will decide about their final standings.

The Australian Liam Perry opened the score already at 1:11 and Australia went into a 1-0 lead. The only 18-year-old Perry plays at his first career Men’s World Championship and was the second best Australian in individual statistics with 6 points (3+3) before this match. But Slovakia showed its quality and Lukáš Mráz tied the game in the 7th minute. The Slovaks controlled the ball for the most of the time and often pushed the Australians deep in their defense. On the other hand, Australia stayed in a very solid defensive formation and was dangerous from counter-attacks. Still in the first period, Liam Perry scored his second of the day with the Slovaks tying the score yet again just 45 seconds later.

The second period was very similar to the first one and the Slovaks were rewarded for their patient effort. They scored two power-play goals and went into a two-goal lead. Lukáš Řezanina, the Slovak captain and Slovakia’s all-time scoring leader at the world championships, tallied one of them. Slovakia continued in their good offensive performance and doubled their lead to 6-2 before the second intermission. The Australians weren’t able to find the way into the net despite having a few scoring chances.

In the last twenty minutes of the game, the Australians probably ran out of energy and Slovakia dominated the game. The Slovak Michal Dudovič, the tournament’s scoring leader, added two points in the third period to make it 3 (1+2) for the match. Dudovič also recorded 6 points (4+2) at the already mentioned match in Riga in 2006, when Slovakia defeated Australia 12-2. Ben Kosterich netted the only Australia’s goal of the last period. For the 21-year-old Kosterich, who plays at his first Men’s World Championship, it was his first career WFC point. In the 56th minute, the Australian Tomas Gärtner had a chance to reduce the final score by one more goal, but missed a penalty shot.