2024 mwc can cze matchup

Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Czechia

Tuesday, May 21 | 10 a.m. ET | Prague, Czechia | Preliminary Round

Jason La Rose
May 21, 2024

Canada’s National Men’s Team closes out the preliminary round Tuesday at the 2024 IIHF World Championship, taking on host Czechia with an opportunity to wrap up first place in Group A.

Last Game

Canada leaned on its power play to score a 3-2 win over Switzerland in a battle of unbeaten teams Sunday. Dylan Cozens scored twice with the man advantage and Nick Paul added the game-winner on the power play as the Canadians took over sole possession in the group and handed the Swiss their first loss.

The Czechs last saw the ice Saturday, easing past Great Britain 4-1 for their fourth win in five games. Lukas Sedlak scored twice and added an assist, and Roman Cervenka provided four helpers in front of a crowd of 17,413 at O 2 Arena.

Last Meeting

The Canadians and Czechs met at this same stage a year ago, in the prelim finale in Riga. In that one, Tyler Myers broke open a tie game early in the third period as Canada earned a 3-1 victory. Peyton Krebs and Lawson Crouse opened and closed the scoring for the Canadians, who finished with a 44-17 advantage in shots on goal.

What to Watch

Put the Maple Leaf on his chest, and all Cozens does is score goals. His two against the Swiss on Sunday give him six in as many games in Prague, tying him for the tournament lead (with Oliver Kapanen and Brady Tkachuk). Add those six to the seven he scored in 2022 and the 23-year-old is knocking on the door of the top five goal-scorers in Team Canada history at Men’s Worlds (Steve Yzerman, Jason Spezza and Matt Duchene are tied in that spot with 18). And it’s not as if this has come out of nowhere; Cozens scored 31 goals a season ago for the Buffalo Sabres, and netted 10 (and 25 points) across 14 games at the 2020 and 2021 World Juniors.

Reinforcements have arrived for Czechia. Martin Necas was added to the roster Saturday after his Carolina Hurricanes were eliminated from the NHL playoffs, and David Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha of the Boston Bruins were added Monday. Pastrnak is the big name; he had 110 points (47-63—110) with the Bruins this season (after posting 113 last season) and immediately becomes the best and most dangerous player on the roster. He has been terrific wearing the colours of his country – Pastrnak has 29 points (13-16—29) in 28 career games at Men’s Worlds, and added 14 (3-11—14) at two World Juniors.

A Look Back

The 26 meetings between the Canadians and Czechs (since 1993, following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia) have been split almost right down the middle – Canada holds a narrow 14-12 advantage.

Despite the balanced head-to-head history, it has been all Canada over the last decade; it has won the last eight meetings. That list includes three semifinal matchups – Mike Smith posted a 23-save shutout in 2015, Mark Stone had a goal and an assist in 2019, and Cozens scored twice and added a helper in 2022.

All-time record: Canada leads 14-12 (1-1 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 81
Czechia goals: 74

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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