GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. SWEDEN (FEB. 16)
TV: CBC |
Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team is into the final eight at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, with a tough
quarterfinal matchup on tap – it takes on Sweden on Wednesday.
Canada rode its power play to a
7-2 win over host China in the qualification round on Tuesday. The Canadians scored four times in eight chances, with Jordan
Weal scoring twice with the man advantage along with one each from Adam
Tambellini and Jack McBain. Tambellini also scored a penalty-shot goal,
Canada’s first since Petr Nedved in 1994, and added three assists for the
first five-point game by a Canadian at the Games since Dave Gagner against
Norway in 1984.
closed out their preliminary round on Sunday, taking a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes through goals from Lucas Wallmark,
Lukas Bengtsson and Anton Lander, only to see Finland erase that deficit in
the third period and steal a 4-3 overtime win. While the loss dropped them
out of first place in Group C, the single point was enough to earn them a
bye through to the quarters.
The last Olympic meeting was a memorable one for Canadian hockey fans. That
was Feb. 23, 2014, when Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz
scored the goals and Carey Price made 24 saves to give Canada a
3-0 win and its ninth, and most recent, Olympic gold medal.
That was the last top-level meeting at any event; the teams last
clashed at the IIHF World Championship in 2017 – also for gold – when Ryan O’Reilly scored and Calvin Pickard made 40 saves, but Sweden
earned a 2-1 shootout victory for its 11th world title.
WHAT TO WATCH
Canada’s power play was deadly against the Chinese, counting four goals on
eight chances. That could be key against the Swedes, who come into the game
with the worst penalty kill in the tournament – they have allowed four PP
goals on just 10 chances through three games. The Canadians, meanwhile, own
the best PK in the field at 92.9% (just one PPG allowed in 14 opposition
chances). Nobody wants a win-or-go-home game to be a parade to penalty box,
but if that happens … the Canadians have a clear edge.
For the Swedes, Wallmark has been the straw that stirs the drink. He has
scored four times in three games – almost half of the team’s total of 10
and sits tied for the tournament lead with 17-year-old Slovak wunderkind
A LOOK BACK
Canada has dominated the head-to-head history, winning 13 of 17 meetings
(along with one tie). The early years were one-sided (as many games were in
the first Olympic tournaments), with Canada outscoring Sweden 45-1 in a
trio of wins between 1920-28. The Swedes didn’t earn their first win over
Canada until 1984.
This is the third time the teams have met in an elimination game at the
Olympics, and the first two were both for gold. Sweden had the edge in 1994
when Peter Forsberg scored his ‘Stamp’ goal in the shootout to give the
Swedes their first gold, and Canada got its gold in 2014 (see ‘Last
Meeting’ section above).
All-time record: Canada leads 13-3-1 (0-1 in shootout)
Canada goals: 89
Sweden goals: 30