2023 mwc may 12 can lat

IIHF Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Latvia

Saturday, May 27 | 7:20 a.m. ET | Tampere, Finland | Semifinal

Jonathan Yue
May 26, 2023

For the eighth tournament in a row, Canada’s National Men’s Team is into the semifinals at the 2023 IIHF World Championship, facing upstart Latvia on Saturday for a place in the gold medal game.

Last Game

Canada earned a 4-1 win over co-host Finland in its quarterfinal on Thursday. Jack Quinn, Sammy Blais, Michael Carcone and Tyler Toffoli each found the back of the net, and Sam Montembeault made 27 saves in another terrific performance for the Canadian goaltender.

Latvia rode home-ice advantage in Riga, defeating Sweden 3-1 to advance to its first-ever semifinal. Arturs Silovs backstopped Latvia, turning aside 40 of 41 shots, and Rihards Bukarts tallied three assists, while Miks Indrasis and Janis Jaks finished with a goal and a helper each.

Last Meeting

Fifteen days ago, on the opening night of the preliminary round in Riga, Canada earned a tournament-opening 6-0 win over the co-hosts. MacKenzie Weegar finished with a goal and two assists, Peyton Krebs had two helpers and Montembeault posted a 23-save shutout.

What to Watch

Since its back-to-back losses to Switzerland and Norway, Canada has turned it around at both ends of the ice, outscoring its opponents 7-2 over the last two games. The line of Lawson Crouse, Scott Laughton and Jack Quinn have been especially dangerous since coming together for the first time against Kazakhstan; the trio has recording 14 points over the last five games (Crouse – 4-1—5; Laughton – 0-4—4; Quinn – 1-4—5). Overall, the Canadians have spread out their offence, with 14 players having scored goals thus far.

There is no arguing that Silovs has been the tournament’s busiest goaltender. The Abbotsford Canucks (AHL) netminder has played in all but five minutes for Latvia, posting a 2.00 goals-against-average and .925 save percentage while leading the tournament with 200 saves through eight games. With the Latvians sitting in the middle of the pack with 24 goals, they’ve relied on Silovs while winning close contests – other than a comfortable 7-0 win over Kazakhstan in the prelims, the quarterfinal win over the Swedes was the first by more than one goal.

A Look Back

Canada and Latvia have met 14 times at the IIHF World Championship, with Canada winning 12 and tying one.

Historically, Canada has dominated the matchup, outscoring the Latvians 77-16. Prior to the 6-0 win mentioned above, the last time the Canadians scored six goals against the Latvians came in a 6-1 win to open the 2015 world championship . Jason Spezza finished with two goals and an assist, Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two helpers and Mike Smith made 16 saves for the win in Prague.

All-time record: Canada leads 12-1-1

Canada goals: 77

Latvia goals: 16

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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