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.
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
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