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Canada vs. Slovakia - 02-26-10

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

-Things seemd normal withou roughly 10 minutes left. Canada was coasting towards a seemingly easy, if uninspired win and are-match with the United States. But the Slovakian woke up late and made a game out this. And they nearly pulled off a huge upset. If not for a missed shot on an empty cage by Pavol Demitra, who pulled the trigger on a game-winning goal in a defeat of Russia earlier in this tournament, this game goes ot overtime. As it was, Canada was able to fend off the pesky Slovaks for an entertaining, 3-2 win.

-Canada dominated this game through its skill and coaching. The maintained puck possession for most of the game and most importantly played sound defense by really limiting Slovakia's star offensive weapons.

-Canada's grit really cam through. All three of its goals came with people going to the net. The Slovakians simply couldn't counter that net presence.

-That said, Canada did not put in a particularly spirited effort in this one, especially late when Slovakia appeared to catch them napping. We assumed they won't have troubles getting excited for the United States on Sunday.

-This wasn't Roberto Luongo's best effort. He was hardly tested but when the Slovakians got a few decent chances late, he was was a little skittish.

-Sidney Crosby was a non-factor in this one. This might've been his quietest game. That's not to say he was a liablity. He just didn't have much of an impact on this game.

-That said, neither did Jarome Iginla, Rick Nash, Eric Staal or Joe Thornton.

-Canada's grinders, or what pass as grinders on this team, really carried the offense. Corey Perry, Brenden Morrow and Ryan Getzlaf (above, with Luongo) were outstanding.

-Canada's defense was fantastic. Dan Boyle, Scott Niedermayer, Shea Weber and company are rarely out of position and find ways to contribute offense from the point.

-Slovakia has nothing to be ashamed of. This is the farthest this country has ever gone in an Olympic tournament. They nearly beat mighty Canada. As it is, they have a chance to get their first medal against Finland.

-Canada led in shots, 28-21.

-Michal Handzus led the game with four.

-Crosby, Iginla, Mike Richards and Jonathan Toews each led Canada with three.

-Zdeno Chara led Slovakia with 21:54 of ice time.

-Duncan Keith led Canada with 21:39.

-Crosby had 16:42 of ice time.

-Marian Hossa had 18:07 and two shots.

-Zigmund Palffy had 16:02, one shot and was a minus-1.

-Martin Strbak had 18:31, two shots and was a minus-1.

-Miroslav Satan had 15:24 and two shots.

-Game Summary.

-Dejan Kovacevic is digging up quotes.

(Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

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