Slovakia was successful in its tournament opener defeating lightweight Latvia 7-4. Lightning prospect winger Stanislav Lascek moved into a tie for the tournament lead in points notching a hat trick and adding two helpers while playing on the top line for Slovakia with his Chicoutimi teammate Marek Zagrapan. Fellow Lightning prospect Vladamir Mihalik helped the cause with an assist on a Juraj Gracik second period goal in his first U-20 World Junior Championship appearance.
In the night's other contest Switzerland squeaked by underdog Norway 2-0. Slovakia's next match is tomorrow night as they draw marquee Pens prospect Evgeni Malkin and the Russians. Also tomorrow, the much awaited contest between Finland and USA that will likely be goaltender Karri Ramo's tournament debut.