2023 24 nmu18t can fin matchup

U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Sweden

Thursday, April 25 | 12 p.m. ET | Vantaa, Finland | Preliminary Round

Jason La Rose
April 25, 2024

The 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship gets underway Thursday in Finland, with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team facing off against Sweden in its preliminary round opener at Vantaa Trio Arena.

Last Game

The Canadians closed out pre-tournament play Tuesday with a 4-3 overtime win over Norway in Vantaa. Matthew Schaefer scored the winner 2:18 into the extra period for Canada, which saw the Norwegians score twice in five second midway through the third period to erase its two-goal lead. Schaefer finished with a goal and an assist, as did Ryder Ritchie.

The Swedes finished their exhibition schedule Monday, getting two goals from Leo Sahlin Wallenius and 26 saves from Love Härenstam to blank Latvia 4-0 in Vierumäki. Jack Berglund and Melvin Fernström rounded out the scoring for Sweden, while Alexander Zetterberg added two assists.

Last Meeting

The international rivals last clashed in the semifinals at U18 Men’s Worlds a year ago, with the Swedes posting a 7-2 victory en route to a silver medal. Macklin Celebrini and Angus MacDonell scored first-period goals for the Canadians, but a four-goal second for the Swedes was the difference.

What to Watch

Porter Martone is no stranger to the Maple Leaf; the Canadian captain has played at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, IIHF U18 World Championship (as an underager) and Hlinka Gretzky Cup over the past 17 months, winning silver, bronze and gold, respectively, while putting up 12 goals and 23 points across 19 games. The Mississauga Steelheads forward registered 71 points (33-38—71) in his second OHL season, and is a name to watch for the 2025 NHL Draft (he’s not eligible this year thanks to his Oct. 25 birthday).

Sahlin Wallenius was the second-ranked Swede on the final NHL Central Scouting rankings for the 2024 NHL Draft, coming seventh among international skaters. He averaged almost a point a game from the blue line with the Växjö Lakers U20 team this season (11-31—42 in 43 GP). Lunis Eriksson also cracked the top 10 from Central Scouting, coming in at No. 10. He spent the majority of the season playing pro with Djurgardens IF, posting 11 points (3-8—11) in 29 HockeyAllsvenskan games.

A Look Back

The head-to-head history between the Canadians and Swedes at the IIHF U18 World Championship is almost right down the middle, with Canada holding a narrow 11-10 advantage.

The most recent wins came at the 2021 worlds in Texas; Shane Wright had a hat trick and Brandt Clarke added two goals and two assists in a 12-1 preliminary-round win, while Connor Bedard scored three and Wright added a goal and three helpers in an 8-1 semifinal triumph.

All-time record: Canada leads 11-10 (1-1 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 83
Sweden goals: 67

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

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