Just 24 hours after its 8-4 opening victory over Japan, Slovakia
looked even more impressive when it shut out Austria at the Arena
Ní²í¾¢erg on Monday.
Behind another three-point performance by Vladimir Orszagh and a game
MVP performance by Robert Petrovicky, Slovakia cruised to an easy 5-0
win, outshooting Austria 37-24. Slovakian goaltender Pavol Rybar
recorded his first shutout of the tournament.
"Our game plan worked very well. The first period the Austrians were
still able to keep with us because I think we were a little tired
from last night's game. So we were a little slow the first twenty
minutes. After we scored the first couple goals, we were able to
protect our lead. But soon after, the game was over for the
Austrians. It's good to have the four points out of the first two
games. So now we have a day off and can regroup for Finland," said
With 4,100 in attendance, the Slovakians took the initiative right
away and seemed to be dominating the game at will for most of the
time. Austria's starting netminder Reinhard Divis gave them a very
hard time before being replaced by backup Claus Dalpiaz after two
Slovakia had several terrific opportunities early on, but Petrovicky,
Sekeras, Ciger and Zednik were all denied by Divis.
Under heavy penetration right from the start, it took Austria quite a
while to get things going. Eight minutes into the campaign, Searle
blasted a mighty point shot at the Slovakian net.
The remainder of the period was slowed down significantly by
penalties on both ends. With less than five minutes left in the
first, Marian Hossa set up Richard Zednik from behind the net on the
powerplay, but netminder Divis robbed him with a spectacular glove
Divis turned aside two more great opportunities by Robert Petrovicky
early in the second. Just past the midway point of the period, the 27-
year-old left winger made sure he was not to be denied a fourth time,
Slovakia drew first blood at 30:55 when Martin Strbak, Vladmir
Orszagh and Petrovicky took Austria's defense apart with textbook tic-
tac-toe. After being set up nicely right at the doorstep by a Strbak
feed, Orszagh quickly got it across to Petrovicky who made it 1-0.
"It was a great goal. First of all, it was a great play from Strbak
who put it off the boards to me. After I passed it back to him, the
puck went to Orszagh who gave it back to me and there I was in front
of the empty net. So what am I supposed to do? I think we deserved
the goal after our previous opportunities. But it was not just about
our goal. It's the contribution of the whole team that won us the
game," said Petrovicky.
Slovakia struck again at 36:01 when Peter Pucher capped an odd-man
rush by beating Divis through the five-hole.
Divis came up big once again when he stopped a breakaway and rebound
by Marian Hossa.
Obviously anticipating defeat, Austrian head coach decided to pull
his starting netminder and replace him with 29-year-old veteran Claus
Dalpiaz at the start of the final period. Some well deserved rest for
Divis, who had stopped 24 of 26 shots to this point.
It took less than a minute until thriving Robert Petrovicky
officially welcomed backup Dalpiaz to the game with a backhand rip
from the near right slot. This time, Dalpiaz would come out on top,
Then the floodgates opened with three Slovakian goals in as many
With a little backhand dump, Richard Lintner set up Miroslav
Hlinka.who rifled it past netminder Dalpiaz. The first powerplay goal
of the afternoon extended Slovakia's lead to three at 47:01.
The two teamed up again just 80 seconds later to assist on Zdenko
Ciger's wrist shot that made it 4-0 at 48:21.
The scoring was capped at 5-0 at 49:53 when Robert Petrovicky pulled
to the net and a diving Peter Pucher lifted the rebound into the net
with the backhand.
"We did not have enough confidence and the defense was struggling at
times. But we are not afraid. The key game for us is Japan. And we
will definitely be prepared for that," Austrian forward Christoph