World Youth Championship: Goalkeeper Adam Gajan saves 28 shots, Slovakia is empty-handed before Latvia 3 0

Goalkeeper Adam Gajan scored the winning goal as Slovakia beat Latvia 3-0 on Friday at World Youth Hockey Championship.

Filip Mesar, the Montreal Canadaiens’ first-round draft pick, led Slovakia’s attack with a goal and an assist, while Alex Ciernik and Simon Nemec, the number two overall pick of the year now in the NHL draft of the New Jersey Devils, also scored.

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

Slovakia’s third goal, from Mesar, was scored in an empty net.

With the win, Slovakia will draw with the United States to take second place in Group B with two wins and one loss. Finland is at the top of the table with two wins and one loss in extra time.

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Tournament rules wins are worth three points, overtime wins are worth two points and overtime losses are worth one point.

Latvia finish last in Group B with one point from four games and will face the losers in today’s Germany-Austria match in a round of three relegation that begins in Halifax on Monday.

The Slovaks finished Saturday’s group stage match against Switzerland.

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

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