Heading into their game Sunday against Russia, Slovakia looked like one of the most disappointing teams in the Olympic tournament.
“We talked about playing a full 60 minutes and putting up strong defense,” said Meszaros. “We should have done that two games ago but we didn’t. Our goalie was unbelievable and so was theirs. I wish we could have played that way against USA and Slovenia.”
The Slovaks were punished 7-1 by Team USA and shocked 5-3 by Slovenia. Slovakia lost in the bronze medal game during the 2010 Vancouver Games and appeared to be a country set to bounce back.
Instead, they’ve looked a step or two slow and the play of Jaroslav Halak and Peter Budaj hasn’t been exceptional. It was Jan Laco who stood on his head against Russia on Sunday to force the game to a shootout.
Slovakia can erase the memories of a poor opening round by beating their rivals from the Czech Republic on Tuesday. The only question they might have regards who to start in goal, but Laco’s play against Russia may have locked that up.