Source: Hockey Canada
Day: August 13, 2022
Team Canada Aims To Stay Undefeated At 2022 World Junior Championships Today
WORLD JUNIORS PREVIEW: CANADA VS. CZECHIA
Saturday, August 13 | 4 p.m. MT | Edmonton, Alberta | Preliminary Round
GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. CZECHIA (AUG. 13)
Canada’s National Junior Team gets into the back half of its preliminary round schedule Saturday at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship, seeking another win to stay undefeated as it meets Czechia.
Canada had a dominant start on Thursday against Slovakia, scoring four first-period goals on its way to an 11-1 win. Mason McTavish had a night to remember—he became the seventh Canadian to score four goals in a World Juniors game and added two helpers for a six-point effort. Joshua Roy registered a goal and three assists, while Connor Bedard, Will Cuylle, Brennan Othmann, Olen Zellweger, Logan Stankoven and Zack Ostapchuk also found the back of the net.
Czechia is coming off a thriller Finland on Thursday, albeit a 4-3 shootout loss. Jaroslav Chmelar and Jiri Kulich helped the Czechs to an early 2-0 lead, but it needed a Jan Mysak goal with 7:22 left to force overtime, and eventually a shootout. Mysak counted again in the shootout, but the Finns would convert a pair of chances to earn the extra point.
The two teams last faced off on Boxing Day 2021, kicking off the first attempt at the 2022 World Juniors before it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Owen Power was the story, becoming the first defenceman in Team Canada history to record a hat trick in a World Juniors game—the last two coming on 5-on-3 power plays as part of a 6-3 win. Five of Canada’s six goals were scored by defencemen. Ahead of the rescheduled tournament, the IIHF announced that any games played in the December event would not be added to the official game records, and all player stats from that event would be unofficial.
WHAT TO WATCH
McTavish and Bedard have been magic in the first two games, combining for six goals and 12 points. Look for the duo to continue to put together more than a few highlight-reel goals as the tournament continues. Olen Zellweger has also had a strong start from the back end, registering two goals and three points while all players with a plus-nine rating.
Czechia has a strong blue line led by David Jiricek, who was selected sixth overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2022 NHL Draft. Up front, Mysak, the Czech captain and a Montreal Canadiens prospect, is back for his third World Juniors. With two prelim games under his belt, the Hamilton Bulldogs forward has three goals and four points.
A LOOK BACK
As Czechoslovakia (1977-92), the Czech/Slovak Republics (1993) and the Czech Republic/Czechia (1994-present), the Canadians have faced the Czechs 36 times since the first IIHF World Junior Championship in 1977, fashioning a 21-7-8 (W-L-T) record.
Against the current iteration, Canada has lost just a single game in 20 tries since 1994, and none in regulation time. Prior to the now-unofficial meeting in December (which isn’t included in the 20 meetings), the Canadians posted a 3-0 quarterfinal win in the Edmonton bubble in 2021, anchored by a 29-save shutout from Devon Levi, and were 7-2 winners on New Year’s Eve 2019 on the back of four-point efforts from Barrett Hayton and Dylan Cozens.
All-time record: Canada leads 18-1-2 (Czechia leads 1-0 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 97
Czechia goals: 33