Underdogs Slovenia defeated Slovakia by three goals to one to record their first ever Olympic victory.
Sport: Men’s ice hockey
Score: Slovakia 1 Slovenia 3
With USA playing Russia later, this game was somewhat overshadowed in terms of relevance. The first period was even, with the Slovakian goalie Halak, making 10 saves, the Slovenian Kristan, 11 saves. It ended goalless.
The second period was much of the same, Slovakia having nine shots compared to Slovenia’s eight, but it hardly told the tale. Slovenia were camped in Slovakia’s half for much of the period, and could have taken the lead through Robar ten minutes in, his shot striking the outside of the post and finding its way to safety. The momentum kept swinging and eventually it was the underdogs turn to be on the back foot. After being awarded a powerplay, Slovakia tried to take the initiative and force the goal, but Slovenia defended well. Another goalless period.
Jeglic nearly got a goal one and a half minutes into the third, but Halak saved well. A Slovenian powerplay saw them dominate possession again. The puck was sent into the danger zone, Halak made the save and it fell to a Slovenian for a seemingly open net. The defence man Baranka had different ideas, and made the best save of the game, sprawling across goal to get a glove on it. Slovakia were soon to be breached though, as Slovenia took the lead with three minutes gone of the period. Ticar scored, placing the puck through Halak’s legs.
The captain Razingar made it two nil on nine minutes to bring absolute joy to Slovenia. It put them in a great position to record their first victory in the Olympics, and over Slovakia. It got even better 23 seconds later, as Kopitar shrugged off a challenge from the Slovakian defence, before skating across goal and smashing in. Slovakia got a consolation goal with 26 seconds remaining through Jurco. Slovenia saw it out though and recorded their first victory in the Olympic games.