Team Slovakia put up a good battle, but Team Russia was able to hang on to defeat the Slovaks by a 2-1 score on the final day of the preliminary round at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. The win for the Russians sends them to a quarterfinal matchup with Denmark, while Slovakia has the uneviable task of facing off against what might be the best country at this year’s tournament, Sweden.
Russia opened the scoring in the first period on a goal by Artur Lauta, his second goal of the tournament. Russian defenseman Yegor Rykov added to the lead in the second period with an unassisted effort to make it 2-0. Christian Jaros halved Russia’s lead with a goal a little over six minutes after Rykov’s, but the Slovaks weren’t able to beat Russian goaltender Alexander Georgiev the rest of the way.
Big Slovak forward Filip Lestan is getting his first taste at the U20 level on the international stage. Lestan, who currently plays for HV71 in Sweden, has scored a goal at this WJC while seeing time on the second line. Lestan is eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft.
Lestan spoke with Hockey’s Future after the loss to Russia, with his comments being captured in this HF video.
Highlights from the Slovakia-Russia contest can be viewed here.
Follow Chapin Landvogt on Twitter via @