Canada-Slovakia world junior semifinal players to...
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Jan 04, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Canada-Slovakia world junior semifinal players to watch

Goalie Denis Godla gives Slovakia some hope. Max Domi, Curtis Lazar Team Canada's emotional leaders

OurWindsor.Ca

When Canada takes on Slovakia on Sunday night in the world junior hockey championship, the plan is to keep the good times going. “Everyone’s happy where we’re at,” said star forward Connor McDavid, “but by no means is the job done. Everyone’s having fun. Why wouldn’t you? Everything’s going well right now. Playing in these buildings and in front of these crowds.” The Air Canada Centre has been louder for these teenagers than it usually is for the Maple Leafs, and it will be up to some highly talented teenagers to keep up their fine work if Canada is to beat Slovakia and compete for gold on Monday night:

Connor McDavid: A three-point performance against Denmark signalled the 17-year-old was back on top of his game after breaking his hand in a fight in November. He has seven points in the tournament, four last year. The top prospect for next summer's draft.

Sam Reinhart: The No. 2 pick from last summer's draft (by Buffalo). Canada's cerebral leader has nine points. Creative playmaker and finisher.

Max Domi: The son of Tie Domi is the emotional heart of the team and the fan favourite. Gets under the skin of the opposition. Scores big goals. His post-goal celebrations are the talk of the tournament. A Coyotes prospect.

Curtis Lazar: The captain and chief spokesman. The Ottawa Senator is one of two NHLers on loan to Team Canada, with Anthony Duclair (Rangers). As entertaining to talk to as he is to watch.

The last time Slovakia won a medal in this tournament was 1999, bronze in Winnipeg in 1999. They made the semifinals with a stunning 5-3 upset of the Americans in Ottawa in 2009. A look at the Slovaks:

Denis Godla: Replaced Slovak starting goalie David Okolicany after Canada's third goal of the tournament opener and has appeared in every game since. Got his first shutout in the quarter-final against the Czechs, making 34 saves. Plays for Bratislav Slovan of the KHL.

Martin Reway: Easily the best Slovak with four goals, two assists. Montreal Canadiens prospect (fourth round, 2013). Plays for Sparta Praha after leaving the Gatineau Olympiques, where he played for Canadian head coach Benoit Groulx.

Toronto Star

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