December 20, 2011
Leading the staff is Ernest Bokros, in his 12th season as a head coach. The 52-year-old was a defenceman in his playing days.There are few expectations for the Slovaks as they head into the 2012 world juniors, and that’s something they’d like to remedy, and quickly. After finishing in eighth spot at the 2011 tournament, this young team will need to jump out quickly if they plan to get the upper hand on the top teams in their pool, including Russia and Sweden. Of the 30 players in the Slovak camp, 11 are toiling in the Canadian Hockey League. Many are among the top scorers in their respective circuits, which is key because at last year’s tournament, the Slovaks struggled to find well-balanced offensive production.
Who to watch: Kosice’s Tomas Jurco of the QMJHL Saint John Sea Dogs and Marek Tvrdon of the Vancouver Giants are expected to be among their most dangerous players. Jurco, a right-winger, is 12th in league scoring with 45 points, while the left-winger Tvrdon sits in 20th in WHL stats with 14 goals and 23 assists.
Keys to success: Guys like Jurco and Tvrdon are going to have to find the net, and often, if the Slovaks have any hope of advancing to the medal round.
Between the pipes: This is another team that has three goaltenders in their lineup: 19-year-old Dominik Riecicky from HC Kosice, Richard Sabol and Juraj Simboch.
Behind the bench: Leading the staff is Ernest Bokros, in his 12th season as a head coach. The 52-year-old was a defenceman in his playing days.
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