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Martin Pospisil was a menace in Slovakia’s overtime win over the United States on Monday

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Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
Slovakia faced its biggest challenge so far in the 2024 IIHF men’s World Championship on Monday in Czechia, as they clashed with the United States in round robin action. Slovakia ended up playing a really strong game, scoring first and never trailing en route to a 5-4 overtime victory – they got out to a 4-1 lead but couldn’t hold onto it.
A big reason why Slovakia won was the performance of Calgary Flames forward Martin Pospisil, who was a thorn in the side of the Americans both physically and on the scoresheet.
Overall, Pospisil had a superb game. He was plus-three with three assists. He won 12 of the 20 face-offs he took. He played 16:42, his highest ice-time of the tournament thus far.
Pospisil received a secondary assist on Simon Nemec’s second period goal that extended Slovakia’s lead to 3-1.
Later on in the second, Pospisil received a primary assist on Patrik Koch’s goal that made it 4-1 for Slovakia.
The Americans battled back in the third period, though, with Shane Pinto, Brady Tkachuk and Luke Hughes scoring to tie the game and force overtime. Pospisil wasn’t on the ice for any of the American goals in their third period comeback.
Once in overtime, though, Pospisil set up a point shot by Nemec that was deflected by linemate Milos Kelemen into the American net to give Slovakia a 5-4 victory.
 
Through three round robin games, Pospisil has seemed to find a nice balance in his game. He’s been physically engaged, to the point where he’s drawn penalties for his team via agitation. But he’s also been offensively engaged, too. He has two goals and four assists for six points thus far. He’s also been on for more goals for than against, and won more than half of his face-offs (56% officially) – and that’s impressive considering he hasn’t played very much centre since going pro with the Flames organization in 2019-20.
Pospisil was one of the big breakout players for the Flames in 2023-24, but his performance thus far at the Worlds suggests that there could be another level to his game ready to be unlocked.
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