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Canada’s National Men’s Team
opens defence of its gold medal Friday at the 2022 IIHF World Championship,
taking on Germany in the 49th chapter of an international rivalry that
dates back to the 1930s.
Canada finished a Cinderella run to gold at the 2021 IIHF World
a 3-2 overtime win over Finland
in Riga, getting the game-tying goal from Adam Henrique with 7:23 left and
the extra-time winner from Nick Paul. The Canadians became the first team
to ever win gold at worlds after starting the tournament with three losses
in a row.
The last game for a Canadian men’s entry at the senior level came at the
2022 Olympics in Beijing, a
2-0 loss to Sweden
in the quarterfinals. Matt Tomkins – one of three Olympians on the worlds
roster – stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced in defeat.
The Germans finished their 2021 worlds run with
a 6-1 loss to the U.S.
in the bronze medal game. Dominik Bittner had the lone goal for Germany,
which played for a medal for the first time since 2010 on home ice. In
Beijing, Germany failed to advance past the qualification round, getting
blanked 4-0 by Slovakia.
The teams met in the preliminary round a year ago in Riga, with the Germans
earning a 3-1 win
to drop the Canadians to 0-3. Adin Hill made 22 saves and Paul scored the
lone goal for Canada, which wouldn’t lose another game in regulation time
en route to its 27th gold medal.
Canada beat Germany
5-1 in the Olympic opener, getting first-period goals from Alex Grant, Ben Street and Daniel Winnik
to take a commanding early lead. Maxim Noreau and Jordan Weal had the other
goals for the Canadians, while Eddie Pasquale made 23 stops.
WHAT TO WATCH
Max Comtois may be the only returnee from last year’s gold medal-winning
team, but Canada is hardly short of players with international experience.
Tomkins, Eric O’Dell and Kent Johnson were part of Canada’s Olympic
contingent, Matthew Barzal, Thomas Chabot, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Damon
Severson have also played for Canada at the worlds, and there are seven
players who have donned the Maple Leaf at the IIHF World Junior
With 10 players back from Beijing, Germany will have the advantage of some
pre-existing chemistry from its Olympic run, plus the return of head coach
Toni Soderholm means it will likely be an easier transition into worlds.
But the Germans took the second-most penalties at the Games, which could be
an opportunity for Canada to get its offence rolling early.
A LOOK BACK
Canada has owned the head-to-head history, winning 20 of 23 meetings. When
you factor in games against East and West Germany from 1954 to 1990, that
dominance extends to 44 wins in 47 games.
The Canadians have won nine of the last 10 meetings, including 10-goal
2008 (when Eric Staal scored four goals)
2015 (when Taylor Hall had a hat trick)
and quarterfinal victories in 2003 (when Eric Brewer was the overtime hero)
2017 (when Mark Scheifele had a goal and an assist).
All-time record: Canada leads 21-2-1 (2-0 in OT)
Canada goals: 110
Germany goals: 32