Matt Slocum/Associated Press
Jaroslav Halak carried the Slovakians to a bronze medal in 2010, and after a tough schedule in 2014, it was clear that the St. Louis Blues' starting goaltender would have to repeat his heroics if his country stood a chance in Sochi.
That meant Peter Budaj would be watching from the bench. Unless, of course, Halak was hurt or chased from net by the Americans or Russians.
Well, the latter happened in the Slovakians' first game. The Americans exploded for five goals on their first 25 shots of the game, chasing Halak and giving Budaj a chance to shine and perhaps earn another start.
Instead, Budaj followed suit and allowed two goals on just eight shots. The Americans walked away with an easy 7-1 win.
In defense of the Canadiens' backup goaltender, it was an unfair situation to be put into. His team was clearly outmatched and by the time Budaj entered the net, the Slovakians looked liked they just wanted to be back in the cozy confines of the Olympic village.
Regardless, Budaj failed to take advantage of his opportunity in goal.
He wound up watching Halak from the bench as the Slovakians lost their second game to Slovenia. He was then a surprise scratch for Slovakia's final game against Russia, as third-string Jan Laco drew the start and held the Russians scoreless until the shootout.
It will be interesting to see who the Slovakians start in their qualifying-round game against the Czech Republic on February 18. It will not, however, be Budaj.
Stats: 1 GP (14:32), 4.53 GAA, .750 SV%