2022  m w c  preview  c a n  f r a

Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. France

Tuesday, May 24 | 1:20 p.m. ET | Helsinki, Finland | Preliminary Round

May 23, 2022

TV: TSN | Stream: TSN Direct

Canada’s National Men’s Team finishes the preliminary round Tuesday in a position it didn’t expect; needing a win to absolutely secure a spot in the quarterfinals at the 2022 IIHF World Championship.


Canada fell behind early and, despite getting close, couldn’t find the tying goal as it dropped its second in a row, 3-2 to Denmark. Max Comtois scored early in the second period to halve the Danish lead and Ryan Graves made it a one-goal game again late in the third, but that would be as close as the Canadians got. Chris Driedger made 21 saves between the pipes for Canada.

France surprisingly jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on Switzerland before falling 5-2 to the Group A leaders on Sunday. Alexandre Texier and Valentin Claireaux had the two first-period goals for France and Sebastian Ylonen made 12 saves to take that lead. But Switzerland answered 25 seconds into the second period, tied it around the 12-minute mark and had the lead before the middle frame was done.


Canada and France last met at the worlds in 2019, a 5-2 win for Canada – its fourth-straight victory against the French. Canada jumped out to a 3-0 lead (from Anthony Mantha, Darnell Nurse and Anthony Cirelli) in the first period, but France answered back with goals in the second and third period to cut the lead to 3-2. Mantha and Mark Stone added insurance markers midway through the third and Carter Hart made 21 saves to secure the win.


Slow starts continue to plague Canada, as it has given up the first goal in three of its six games, including two of the last three. It is also coming off back-to-back losses – meaning the match-up against France has playoff implications. As long as Canada can secure at least a single point against France, even a regulation win from Slovakia will not be enough to knock out the defending champions from the playoff picture.

France is out of contention for a playoff spot and isn’t in danger of relegation, so realistically, this team is playing for pride and little else. But as we’ve heard time-and-again, teams will always bring their A-game against Canada. France will be rested and features one of the top goaltenders in the tournament in Henri Corentin Buysse, who owns a .931 save percentage in four games.


Canada and France have played 14 times at the worlds, with Canada holding the clear advantage – 12 wins and a plus-64 goal differential.

France has made things more interesting in recent years. It’s most recent win came in 2014, a 3-2 shootout victory, and in 2017 the Canadians came from behind for a 3-2 prelim win. Ryan O’Reilly counted in the first period and Claude Giroux tied the game in the last minute of the second before Marc-Edouard Vlasic won it for Canada early in the third.

All-time record: Canada leads 12-2-0 (W-L-T)
Canada goals: 85
France goals: 21

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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