Canada led just 1-0 until Philip Tomasino notched an insurance marker with 3:35 remaining in the contest. Slovakia cut the lead in half with a power-play goal two minutes later, but Jack Quinn‘s empty-netter sealed the victory for Canada.
Defenseman Jordan Spence buried Canada’s opening goal.
The defending champions didn’t dominate play like many expected, mustering just 24 shots. Slovakia clogged up the neutral zone and received big saves from goaltender Samuel Hlavaj.
It was an impressive showing for Slovakia, which has just 8,848 junior players. Canada, in comparison, has 429,173 junior players, per IIHF.
Canada remains undefeated in the tournament, though, after Saturday’s 16-2 romp over Germany. The hosts have a day off before facing Switzerland at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Slovakia, meanwhile, will be seeking its second win of the tournament Monday against Germany after beating Switzerland 1-0 on Friday.