Slovakia beat Latvia 3-0 thanks to goaltender Adam Gajan on Friday in the World Junior Hockey Championship.

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Filip Messer, the Montreal Canadiens’ first-round draft pick, led the Slovak attack with a goal and an assist, while Alex Sirnik and Simon Nemec, this year’s No. 2 overall pick in the NHL draft by the New Jersey Devils, also scored.

Gajan, who plays for the Chippewa Steel of the North American Hockey League, made 28 saves, while Latvian goaltender Patriks Berzins stopped 23 of 25 shots.


Slovakia’s third goal was scored by Messer into an empty net.

With the win, Slovakia moved up to second place in Group B with the United States, with two wins and one loss. Finland is in the top spot with two wins and one overtime loss.

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In tournament regulation a win is worth three points, an overtime win is worth two and an overtime loss is worth one.

Latvia finished last in Group B with one point from four matches and will face the loser of today’s Germany-Austria game in the best-of-three relegation round starting in Halifax on Monday.

The Slovakians finish group play against Switzerland on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 30, 2022.

By Rahul

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