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Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team
is into the quarterfinals at the 2022 IIHF U18 World Championship,
travelling to Kaufbeuren to face off against Group B runner-up Finland to
begin the playoff round. Both teams come in off a loss to close the
Canada’s preliminary-round finale can only be described as a see-saw battle
that ended in a
6-5 overtime loss to Czechia
on Tuesday. Canada opened the scoring through Nick Moldenhauer less than
two minutes in, but had to erase three one-goal deficits before finally
taking another lead off the stick of Kocha Delic with 11 minutes left. But
special teams were the difference; the Czechs scored five times on the
power play, including the overtime winner. Reid Dyck was terrific in the
Canadian goal, making 46 saves.
Finland faced off against Scandinavian rival Sweden in its prelim finale,
with top spot in Group B on the line. The teams exchanged goals in the first period before Sweden rattled off
three straight. Lenni Hameenaho and Tuomas Uronen got Finland within one,
couldn’t complete the comeback in a 4-3 loss.
Canada’s last game against Finland was at the 2019 U18 worlds,
a 5-3 preliminary-round win. The Canadians fell into a 3-0 hole early in the second period before
coming all the way back. Jamieson Rees got Canada going shorthanded and
Alex Newhook made it a one-goal game before Brayden Tracey struck twice in
the third period to put the Canadians ahead. Peyton Krebs found the empty
net with a second left to ice the victory.
WHAT TO WATCH
While his save percentage and goals-against average may not reflect it,
Reid Dyck has arguably been Canada’s best player in the two appearances
he’s made. He made 43 saves in the tournament-opening loss to the U.S., and
followed that up with 46 against the Czechs, almost single-handedly getting
the Canadians to overtime. With tough games on the horizon, he’ll have to
keep that form to keep Canada in the medal hunt.
The Finns are balanced at both ends; only the U.S. (24) and Canada (16)
have scored more than their 13 goals, and they’ve even with the U.S. with
only seven goals allowed in three preliminary-round games. Like Canada,
goaltending has been key – Topias Leinonen’s .894 save percentage is
second-best in the tournament, and Niklas Kokko stopped 17 of 19 in his
A LOOK BACK
This will be the 15th meeting between Canada at Finland at the U18 worlds,
with the previous 14 mostly going in favour of the Canadians.
Canada had four straight wins against the Finns from 2012 to 2016, though
none were by more than two goals. The most thrilling came in 2012,
a 5-4 overtime victory
in the bronze medal game. Hunter Shinkaruk completed the hat trick in the
extra period, while Matt Murray made 29 saves to clinch Canada’s first of
three bronze medals in four years.
All-time record: Canada leads 6-1-2-4-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T)
Canada goals: 38
Finland goals: 37