Andrej Meszaros of the Buffalo Sabres scored his third goal in three games – all of them vital – to help Slovakia avert an upset by Slovenia on Tuesday in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Meszaros scored with a shot from the point on the power play in the third period to tie the game and Marian Gaborik scored the winning goal and added an empty net tally to keep Slovakia in the hunt in the Group B standings. Slovakia (3-0-0) has seven points, two behind Team USA (3-0) with nine. The Slovaks have come from behind for all three of their wins, one in overtime and another in a shootout.
Jan Urbas had given Slovenia a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Meszaros had never scored for Slovakia before his two goals, including an overtime tally, in a 2-1 win over Belarus.
“We’re playing with fire in these games, but we know we’ll have to play better because there’s another great opponent waiting for us tomorrow,” Meszaros said. “But our guys deserve kudos for the way we kept doing the right thing, we stuck to the system, fought hard and in the end we won a big three points.”
Slovakia will face Norway on Wednesday.
Team USA was off Tuesday, but Belarus, the Americans’ opponent on Thursday, improved to 2-1-0 with a 5-1 win over winless Denmark. Yevgeni Kovyrshin scored twice, including the game winner, and Kevin Lalande backstopped Belarus to its second win in three tries.
In Group A, Switzerland edged Germany, 1-0, on Denis Hollenstein’s goal at 12:16 of the third period.
Cristobal Huet of France stopped 23 shots for his team’s first win of the tournament, 2-0 over Austria.
Canada’s game against Sweden in Group A tops Wednesday’s four-game schedule. Canada is perfect so far at 3-0-0 for nine points. The Swedes (3-0) are second with eight points.