2023 24 nmu18t can usa matchup

U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. United States

Sunday, May 5 | 11 a.m. ET | Espoo, Finland | Gold Medal Game

Shannon Coulter
May 5, 2024

The gold medal is on the line as Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team takes on its rivals from the United States on Sunday in the finale of the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship.

Last Game

Canada started strong and hung on late, defeating Sweden 5-4 its Saturday semifinal. Liam Greentree, Gavin McKenna, Tij Iginla and Ryder Ritchie scored in the first period and Henry Mews added the game-winner in the second before Canada held off a late push by Sweden. Carter George made 31 saves in another terrific performance between the pipes.

The United States downed Slovakia 7-2 to advance to the gold medal game. Teddy Stiga scored just over three minutes in to get the scoring started, and a three-goal second period for the U.S. blew open a one-goal game. Cole Eiserman and Max Plante scored twice each, with Cole Hutson and Will Skahan rounding out the scoring and Jack Parsons making 22 saves.

Last Meeting

You have to all the way back to the prelimimary-round opener at the 2022 U18 Men’s Worlds for the last time the North American rivals clashed, with the Canadians dropping that game 8-3 to the Americans. Matthew Wood and Mathew Ward briefly tied the game in the second period, while Connor Bedard scored his first of what would be six goals in the tournament. Reid Dyck made 43 saves for the Canadians.

What to Watch

There were a few record-setting (or record-tying) performances by Canadians in the semifinals. With his first-period goal, McKenna set the record for the most points by a Canadians in one U18 Men’s Worlds with 16. Porter Martone’s assist on Mews’ goal set a new career scoring record by a Canadian with 22 points, surpassing Bedard, and also brought him even with McKenna at 16 points in the tournament. George has been fantastic in the Canadian goal as well. In five games, he has a .923 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average (both second among qualified goaltenders, behind American netminder Nicholas Kempf), with two shutouts. All three were named the best players of the tournament for Canada.

James Hagens has been all over the scoresheet for the United States. With three assists in the semifinals, the 17-year-old set the all-time scoring record at a single U18 Men’s Worlds—a record that had been held for 13 years by Nikita Kucherov. In six games in Finland, Hagens has nine goals and 13 helpers.

A Look Back

This is the 18th meeting between the North American rivals at U18 Men’s Worlds, with the record skewing in favour of the U.S.—Canada has just four wins in the first 17 games (two in regulation, one in overtime and one in a shootout).

That said, those two regulation wins have happened in the last six meetings; Laurent Dauphin had a goal and an assist in the 2013 gold medal game as Canada downed the U.S. 3-2 to win its third world title, and Raphaël Lavoie scored twice to help Canada to a 6-4 victory in the tournament opener in 2018.

All-time record: United States leads 13-4-0 (2-2 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 41
United States goals: 79

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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