Mark Stone ripped a power-play goal with 1.8 seconds left in regulation to help Canada escape with a 6-5 win over the host Slovakia in their round-robin clash at the World Championship on Monday.
The late game-winner made quite a birthday present for Stone, as the Vegas Golden Knights forward turned 27 on Monday.
Special teams proved to be the difference in a highly competitive contest; Canada finished 3-for-4 on the power play while Slovakia failed to score on five attempts with the man advantage.
Anthony Mantha, Shea Theodore, Jonathan Marchessault, Anthony Cirelli, and Troy Stecher all scored for Canada, which came back from a pair of two-goal deficits to hold a one-goal lead after two periods.
With the raucous home crowd behind it, Slovakia controlled play for long stretches in the third frame before finally notching the equalizer off the stick of Matus Sukel. But Erik Cernak took a penalty seven minutes later, setting up Stone’s dramatic winner.
Canada played much of the contest with only five defensemen. Dante Fabbro suffered a cut near his mouth in the first period and didn’t return, and Brandon Montour also departed with an undisclosed injury.
With two wins and one loss, Canada sits tied for second in Group A with 6 points. Slovakia is fifth with three points after playing international juggernauts Finland, the U.S., and Canada.
Slovakia will face Germany on Wednesday while Canada has two days off before playing France on Thursday.
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