Rangers’ Adam Sykora scores first goal, but Slovakia eliminated at 2024 World Juniors
Adam Sykora scored his first goal at the 2024 World Junior Championship on Tuesday. But the New York Rangers prospect couldn’t stop Slovakia from losing 4-3 to Finland in overtime and being eliminated from the tournament.
After being held without a goal during the four-game pool play, Sykora scored a gritty goal late in the first period of Slovakia’s quarterfinal game against Finland.
Sykora dove past a defenseman to bury a rebound at the buzzer after Slovakia had won an offensive-zone face-off with 1.7 seconds remaining in the period. The goal was upheld after review and gave Slovakia a 1-0 lead.
Slovakia nearly lost the game late in the third period when Finland took a 3-2 lead at 18:26. But Filip Mesar scored 50 seconds later with 44 seconds to play to force overtime. Sykora was on the ice for each of the late goals.
Finland’s Jere Lassila scored the winner on a breakaway just 24 seconds into overtime.
Adam Sykora was player of game for Slovakia in quarterfinal loss at 2024 WJC
Sykora was named Slovakia’s player of the game Tuesday. Their captain was a plus-one with his goal and logged 22:29 in ice time, third-most for Slovakia.
“I’m the captain of the team,” he said prior to the contest. “I have to show all the players how we want to play and do all the things right.”
A solid two-way forward, Sykora finished the 2024 WJC with two points (one goal, one assist) and was a plus-one. He will return to the Rangers’ American Hockey League affiliate in Hartford after the tournament. The 19-year-old has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 25 games with the Wolf Pack this season.
Rangers’ prospects Gabe Perreault and Drew Fortescue will be in action later Tuesday when the top-seeded United States plays Latvia in quarterfinal action.