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Hockey Canada pips host Slovakia at worlds thanks to thrilling late winner

Canada's Mark Stone celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides sixth goal during the Ice Hockey World Championships group A match between Slovakia and Canada at the Steel Arena in Kosice.

Petr David Josek/The Associated Press

Mark Stone scored on a power play with 1.8 seconds left in regulation to give Canada a 6-5 win over host Slovakia on Monday at the world hockey championship.

Stone took a pass from defenceman Thomas Chabot in the right faceoff circle and fired a shot past Slovak goaltender Marek Ciliak to cap a wild game that saw Canada rally from a pair of two-goal deficits.

The goal, Stone’s first of the tournament, stunned the vocal pro-Slovak crowd at Kosice’s Steel Arena. Defenceman Martin Fehervaey broke his stick on the crossbar of the Slovak goal in frustration as Canada celebrated.

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Canada’s offence has been explosive the past two games despite the loss of top forward John Tavares to an oblique injury before the tournament began. Canada was coming off an 8-0 win over Britain on Sunday.

Anthony Mantha and Shea Theodore each had a goal and an assist for Canada while Jonathan Marchessault, Anthony Cirelli and Troy Stecher also scored. Kyle Turris, Damon Severson and Chabot each added two assists.

Matus Sukel and Adam Liska had two goals each for Slovakia. Ladislav Nagy also scored for the hosts, who gave up leads of 2-0 and 4-2 in the game.

Matt Murray made 26 saves for Canada, while Ciliak and Patrik Rybar combined to stop 22 shots for Slovakia.

Sukel and Liska scored just more than a minute apart in the first period to give Slovakia the early lead, but Canada responded by the end of the period with goals from Mantha and Theodore. Mantha assisted on Theodore’s goal to give him a tournament-leading seven points (three goals, four assists) in three games.

Nagy and Liska restored Slovakia’s 4-2 lead with the first two goals of the second, but Canada stormed back. A power-play goal from Marchessault cut the lead to 4-3, then Canada surged ahead with goals from Cirelli and Stecher, ending Rybar’s night.

Sukel’s second goal of the game 11:45 into the third forged a 5-5 tie before Stone cemented the win for Canada.

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Canada moved into third place in Group A with six points on two regulation wins and a loss. Finland, which lost 3-2 to the United States on Monday, led with seven points while Germany was second with six points on two regulation wins.

Germany will play its third game Tuesday against France. Canada’s next contest is Thursday, also against France.

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