Slovakia scores late to upset US, 3-2, at world juniors hockey tournament

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Slovakian skaters swarmed goaltender Roman Durny to celebrate on the ice after upsetting the United States at the world junior hockey championship on Thursday.

“It’s like winning a medal,” forward Marian Studenic said. “It’s a big win for us. We’re a small state and this is an honorable feeling.”

Samuel Bucek scored an unassisted goal with 2:08 remaining in the third period to give Slovakia a 3-2 victory over the defending gold medalist Americans, whose coaching staff includes Northern Michigan University head coach Grant Potulny.

“We never really thought we could beat a USA,” Bucek said. “But we’ve done that because we’ve been playing really with patience and we stick with the process and we did the right things on the ice.”

Filip Krivoski scored the other two goals for Slovakia, and Durny made 43 saves in his world juniors debut.

Casey Mittlestadt and Brady Tkachuk had goals for the U.S., which had won nine straight world junior games. The U.S. began its streak with the 2016 bronze medal game and went undefeated in winning the gold medal last year in Toronto.

The U.S. faces Canada in an outdoor game at the Buffalo Bills’ New Era Field at 3 p.m. today.

In other preliminary-round games, Sweden beat the Czech Republic 3-1, Russia pulled away in the third period for a 5-2 victory over Switzerland and Finland defeated Denmark 4-1.