MONCTON, NB –
Adam Gajan made 28 saves and Slovakia beat Latvia 3-0 on Friday to claim their second of three Group B games at the world junior hockey championship.
In Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Group A in the only match of the day, Germany beat Austria 4-2 to secure a place in the quarterfinals.
Slovakia will wrap up the match against Switzerland on Saturday. Latvia is at the bottom of the table with one point. It will face Austria – bottom of Group A with four defeats – in the best three relegation round starting on Monday in Halifax.
The United States will wrap up its Group B game against Finland on Saturday in Moncton. In the Group A final in Halifax on Saturday, Canada will play Sweden and Germany will face the Czech Republic.
Filip Mesar had one goal and one assist for Slovakia. Alex Ciernik and Simon Nemec also scored.
The 19-year-old Gajan scored in Slovakia’s 6-3 win over the United States on Tuesday. He made two starts for the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL after appearing in 16 games against the NAHL’s Chippewa Steel to open the season.
“I’m very confident and I know I can play here, so I don’t feel nervous or anything like this,” Gajan said. “So I feel great on the ice.”
Patris Berzins made 23 saves for Latvia.
“I think everyone is disappointed with the result,” said Latvian defender Bogdans Hodass. “That’s not what we wanted. Sure there was a bit of bad luck. We had a lot of chances to score, but the ball didn’t come in.”
Philpp Krening, Leon van der Linde, Thomas Heigl and Roman Kechter scored for Germany in their first win in three games. Nikita Quapp made 31 saves.
Ian Scherzer and Jonas Dobnig scored for Austria. Dobnig also missed the penalty kick.