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  • World Junior Hockey 2017: Slovakia Faces Uphill Battle


    Team Slovakia

    Head Coach: Ernest Bokros

    2016 Finish: Eliminated in Quarterfinals (1-4-0 record in tournament)

    Wild Prospects: None


    Martin Andrisik—HC ´05 Banska Bystrica

    Radovan Bondra—Vancouver Giants (WHL)

    Marek Hecl—Dukla Trencin

    Filip Lestan—HV71 Jonkoping (SWE)

    Patrik Osko—MHk 32 Liptovsky Mikulas

    Oliver Pataky—Dukla Trencin

    Milos Roman—Ocelari Trinec (CZE)

    Adam Ruzicka—Sarnia Sting (OHL)

    Boris Sadecky—Dukla Trencin

    Marek Sloboda—HK VSR SR 20

    Miroslav Struska—MHk 32 Liptovsky Mikulas

    Marian Studenic—Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)


    Martin Bodak—Tappara Tampere (FIN)

    Erik Cernak—Erie Otters (OHL)

    Martin Fehervary—Malmo Redhawks (SWE)

    Mario Grman—HC Topolcany

    Samuel Hain—HC Topolcany

    Andrej Hatala—Dukla Trencin

    Oliver Kosecky—HC ´05 Banska Bystrica

    Michal Roman—Ocelari Trinec (CZE) 


    Roman Durny—MHk 32 Liptovsky Mikulas

    Adam Huska—University of Connecticut (NCAA)

    Matej Tomek—University of North Dakota (NCAA) 

    Preliminary Schedule

    Tuesday, December 27th—Slovakia vs. Canada—7:00PM Central—Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

    Wednesday, December 28th—Slovakia vs. USA—6:30PM Central—Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

    Friday, December 30th—Slovakia vs. Latvia—6:30PM Central—Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

    Saturday, December 31st—Slovakia vs. Russia—7:00PM Central—Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

    Team Notes 

    Slovakia is a nation that has seen limited success on the international circuit, though they did defeat Sweden to take home the bronze medal in the 2015 World Junior Championship.  It was their second medal in WJC history, with their previous medal, also a bronze, coming in 1999.  Last year’s team had a tough tournament, though, posting a 1-4-0 record and ultimately falling 6-0 to that same Swedish team in the Quarterfinals.  This year’s version of Team Slovakia does feature some familiar NCAA talent, as well as a few NHL prospects in goalkeepers Matej Tomek and Adam Huska, defenseman Erik Cernak, and forward Radovan Bondra.  In case you are wondering, Radovan is not related to Peter Bondra.  The team is hoping to see some production from big 17-year-old forward Adam Ruzicka, who perhaps has the highest upside of any player on the Slovak roster.  Playing for the Sarnia Sting in the OHL, he has posted 22 points in 32 games so far, and while it may be a little early for him to have a huge impact at this year’s tournament, he should be back for a couple more U-20 competitions.  Keep an eye on this player in the coming seasons. 

    With limited NHL prospects, it is unlikely that Slovakia makes much of a run in this tournament, especially with USA, Canada, and Russia all bringing very strong rosters to Toronto.  It will take exceptional goaltending and strong team defense to get them into the medal rounds. 

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