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Hockey Canada implements mandatory diversity and inclusion seminars for national teams players and staff

Tina Varughese to deliver training sessions to approximately 400 players, coaches and support staff

NR.023.20
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July 13, 2020

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada has announced that beginning this week, all national team players, coaches and support staff involved in the 2020-21 season will participate in mandatory virtual diversity and inclusion seminars before proceeding with virtual summer camps.

Players and staff will be required to register for one of four sessions, which run from July 13-16, and are mandatory for all personnel from Hockey Canada’s national teams, including the men’s under-17, under-18 and under-20 teams, women’s under-18, development and senior teams, as well as Canada’s National Para Hockey Team.

As an organization that has acknowledged it needs to do more, Hockey Canada remains committed to continuing to listen and learn, and being open to change in an effort to take action around diversity. The virtual diversity and inclusion training is another step Hockey Canada is taking to be leaders in equality in sport and part of the solution in regards to discrimination of any kind.

“Mandatory diversity and inclusion seminars for Hockey Canada’s national teams are a critical first step in making the hockey community more enjoyable, inclusive and safe for all those who wish to participate,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada. “As our program delivery evolves, we will continue to determine the most appropriate ways to include mandatory sessions on various topics. We believe these diversity and inclusion seminars will be valuable for all players and staff, and we look forward to educating ourselves on these important issues.”

The seminars will be delivered by Tina Varughese, a professional speaker and trainer specializing in diversity and inclusion, and will have a specific focus on unconscious bias.

Varughese is an Indo-Canadian of first-generation East Indian parents who currently resides in Calgary, and has worked extensively with the Province of Alberta’s immigration office. She was named one of Canada’s Top 10 Notable Speakers by Ignite Magazine and is the president of t Works Inc., a company that specializes in cross-cultural communication and work-life balance seminars, and provides customized cultural diversity training to the public and private sectors.

“Hockey Canada is fortunate to have Tina Varughese deliver four important, impactful presentations on unconscious bias to approximately 400 players, coaches and support staff as part of our summer camp program delivery,” said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “Tina will be an incredible resource for all participants, and we believe our teams and athletes will benefit greatly from her knowledge and expertise as we continue to educate our players and develop world-class individuals.”

For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.

Emerance Maschmeyer

In My Own Words: Emerance Maschmeyer

The National Women’s Team goaltender talks about life with partner Geneviève Lacasse, starting a family, being a trailblazer in the PWHL and the importance of being one’s true self

Emerance Maschmeyer
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June 15, 2024

A few of our friends described it as a “hard launch.”

Geneviève and I decided not to officially “come out,” but instead we decided to just post the photos from our wedding last July. At that point, our friends, our families, our circle – the people who meant the most – all knew about our relationship.

We wondered if we needed to have a big coming out story. But we thought posting the photos of the day was a fun way of saying, “This is us. We got married,” like anyone else would post about getting married. It was time for us to just put ourselves out there and not be scared. There was so much love and support, and it was just so inspiring to see the effect we were able to have, just posting about our relationship.

We have a platform and influence, and we have people who follow our journeys. At the end of the day, those who support us will support us, and we want them in our lives, and we want to connect with them, but those who don’t, that’s all right.

We knew the impact we could have sharing our relationship and sharing our story; we knew there would be a positive impact, and we could help so many other individuals with their journey. And so maybe with age, there was some courage in telling our story, but we have all the support we need. So, for us, it was – how do we help others and support others now?

Going public was a huge weight lifted off our shoulders that neither of us recognized was there. And now I feel like we’re very open to having conversations, talking about our relationship and being our true selves. It’s been a rewarding journey. It was only a year ago, and it’s been so fun to just be out there and be us as a couple.

Geneviève and I started dating in 2015. I told my sister pretty early on about our relationship. Geneviève was the first woman that I ever dated. So, I also wanted to make sure that it was something, a longstanding relationship, before I told my entire family, which I would’ve done in any relationship that I was in.

I was in school at Harvard at the time, and so my teammates and friends at school knew early as well. And I knew I wanted to tell my family, but I wanted to do it in person. I didn’t want to make it a big deal, but I also know the norm in society is still, you’re heterosexual until you say otherwise. You have to come out and tell your story. I wanted to make it as normal as possible, but I also wanted to have in-person conversations with my family.

About a year after we started dating, I started telling my family. I told my parents one at a time. I went through my family. And I have a big family, so it was a lot of conversations. Being young, I was 20 years old, I was quite nervous about the conversations, but ultimately my family was so supportive– every conversation left me with ‘my family supports me and loves me no matter who I love.’ I know that’s not the case for everyone, but I am very fortunate to have a family that has my back no matter what. They were just happy I was in a loving relationship.

There were hesitations in coming out publicly, but it didn’t really have anything to do with our sexuality. It had everything to do with the fact that both of us were still active with the National Women’s Team, and we didn’t want our news to be about our relationship or our sexuality. We wanted it to be about hockey and our performance.

It’s certainly not easy when you and your partner share a profession. At the beginning, we had to say to each other that in many ways our relationship comes first, but we also have to put our own hockey first. And not in a selfish way, it’s more like… “If you do everything you can to make a team and to put yourself in a position to play, and I do everything I can to make a team and put myself in a position to play, then it’s not up to us. It’s up to the coach, it’s up to the scouts, it’s up to external factors.”

We were on the journey together, we were working hard and doing everything we could do individually, but when it came down to those decisions, we weren’t angry at each other. We could feel empathy if one played over the other, but at the end of the day, if one of us is in net, then it became, “Okay, I support you or you support me.”

We did have some bumps in the road along the way. I was released from the 2018 Olympics and she made the team. And then vice versa, in 2022, I made the Olympic team and she was released. This presented us with a big learning opportunity in our relationship. The first time around when I was released, we weren’t equipped with the skills to handle it. It was a big dream of mine to make that team and to play in the Olympics. And what do you say to your partner on either end, the one who makes it or the one who doesn’t? Navigating the situation and our dynamic was complex. We were supportive of one another, and to protect our relationship we felt that not talking about hockey was the best course.

The second time around, going into Beijing, we learned how to talk through it. We gained an understanding of how to have difficult conversations, to talk about how we feel. We wish that neither of those situations happened, but they actually made our relationship a lot stronger. We have acquired the skills to support each other and communicate through difficult situations, and recognize the importance of continuously practicing and refining those skills.

We found out we were pregnant in late 2023, a few months after we got married. We’re fortunate that we have friends that have gone through the fertility treatment process that we could use as a resource, and so we asked a lot of questions. We did a lot of research. We were living in Quebec, and luckily there’s funding to make the financial burden easier. Our journey to conception wasn’t long, and for that we are grateful.

It’s been quite a journey. We’re so excited to start our family and welcome our little boy to the world. It’s something that we had been wanting to do for so long, but having us both playing, it wasn’t really a possibility, especially without the salaries and security of a professional league. But now we’re finally in a position where I’m playing in the PWHL and Geneviève has security in her job as manager of corporate sponsorships and sales with the league. It’s the most security and stability we’ve had in a long time, and we’re excited to start our family.

We are looking forward to having our son grow up around strong women. And we know that he’ll grow up to respect women and look at women’s athletes as just athletes.

And I can’t forget the gender reveal! I was sitting on the bus with Emily Clark on a road trip this year, and we were chatting about doing a gender reveal, and just brainstorming some ideas. And then somehow it came up that it would be so fun to have an obstacle course and have the team involved. It evolved into Clark vs. Jenner, boy vs. girl, and went from there.

Geneviève and I gave them the link to the gender, because we wanted to be surprised as well. We set up one day after practice, and Clarky and Jenner, they came up with how the race would go. It turned out so good!

This year has been such a whirlwind. The wedding, the announcement of the PWHL, signing with Ottawa, finding out we were pregnant, launching the league, winning another world championship … hard to believe that’s only the last 11 months.

It’s been so incredible, the momentum that we have in the PWHL, the fandom, the support, the investment and the visibility. And just the growth that we’ve had within just our first season. Being a professional hockey player still feels surreal to me, but the pride I felt every time I stepped onto the ice with my teammates in Ottawa this season … it’s indescribable to be part of something so special.

Obviously, there’s still a long way to go for equity and parity, but we’ve made some huge steps in the past few years. Even in the grassroots now, there’s that ripple effect from the PWHL of getting women in sport and staying in sport.

At our games, I see young fans, not just young girls, but young boys too who just see us as hockey players. They don’t see us as women’s hockey players. They’re looking up to us like, “You’re my favourite player, you’re my favourite goalie.” They’re not saying, “You’re my favourite female goalie.” It’s been fantastic to see the shift in the mindset, and there are so many more stepping stones to come.

Because it is Pride Month, which means so much to me, I did want to end with a few thoughts.

Individually, everyone can look inward and see where they can do the work. I think often, people lead with assumptions when meeting someone. But we can all do a better job at letting them tell their story versus labelling them with, ‘You are this or you are that.’ It can be intimidating to be your true self because of preconceived assumptions.

Unfortunately, there’s going to be hate online. That’s unavoidable in the social media age we live in. But I think as much as we can, we need to hold on to the love and the support, and ensure the kind, loving, supportive voices drown out the negative ones.

As someone who’s in a same-sex relationship, I know that at times I can still be a little timid or discouraged to be my true self, but for those in our community, I encourage you to be as courageous as you can. Be your true self. If you come into a conversation and lead with your authentic self, it will start changing minds slowly. One person at a time.

We are moving in the right direction, and together is how we’re going to keep moving.

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Hockey Canada expands call for Indigenous artists

Indigenous artists encouraged to submit proposals for national and international events, including the 2025 World Juniors

NR.039.24
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June 05, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has launched a call for Indigenous artists to create art initiatives that will support the delivery of upcoming national and international events, including the 2025 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa, ON.

Indigenous artists from across Canada are invited to apply with a general submission of interest on an ongoing basis, while the deadline to submit a proposal for the World Juniors is June 30, 2024.

“The inclusion and integration of Indigenous art at our events has become a tradition for Hockey Canada, and one of the elements of a tournament that players, staff, teams and fans look forward to the most,” said Khanh Be, senior manager of community and social impact for Hockey Canada. “With the World Juniors coming to Ottawa, a city that is committed to understanding and celebrating the diverse heritage and contributions of Indigenous peoples, it was important to expand our call for Indigenous artists and continue to build on our relationship with Indigenous communities throughout the country.”

As part of the general call for artists, Hockey Canada is seeking proposals from artists who will collaborate with the organization to create gifting, installations and signage at events, as early as Fall 2024.

Potential projects for the World Juniors include but are not limited to Player of the Game gifting, merchandise design, bag beading and murals.

Submission information can be found on Hockey Canada’s Call for Artists website.

To learn more about Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along through social media on FacebookX and Instagram.

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Hockey Canada forms women's and girls' steering committee

15 stakeholders to lead work on reflections and insights on state of women’s and girls’ hockey

NR.038.24
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May 31, 2024

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Hockey Canada has formed a committee of stakeholders, chaired by current board member and National Women’s Team alumna Gillian Apps, to oversee a discussion paper that will lead to formal recommendations to guide the organization’s next women’s and girls’ hockey strategic plan.

The committee was formally launched at a press conference in Winnipeg today, where Hockey Canada’s Spring Congress is taking place alongside a women’s and girls’ hockey symposium with provincial and territorial representation from all of Hockey Canada’s 13 Members, facilitated by Canadian Women & Sport.

“Internationally, Canada has always been a leader in women’s hockey. Now is the time to ensure we are on the leading edge of identifying and addressing gaps in the current system to provide women and girls with even more opportunities to thrive in the future,” said Apps. “This committee’s efforts will be critical to furthering the game at all levels, and we are grateful this group has agreed to volunteer and be part of this important work.”

The committee features 15 stakeholders, including six National Women’s Team (NWT) alumnae:

  • Gillian Apps, Hockey Canada Board of Directors and NWT alumna
  • Pierre Arsenault, chief executive officer of U SPORTS
  • Thérèse Brisson, president and chief executive officer of Alpine Canada, and NWT alumna
  • Cassie Campbell-Pascall, broadcaster, special advisor to the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) and NWT alumna
  • Debra Gassewitz, president and chief executive officer of the Sport Information Resource Centre
  • Jayna Hefford, senior vice-president of hockey operations for the PWHL and NWT alumna
  • Katherine Henderson, president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada
  • Marian Jacko, Hockey Canada Board of Directors
  • Angela James, Hockey Canada Foundation Board of Directors and NWT alumna
  • Rob Knesaurek, senior vice-president of youth development and industry growth with the National Hockey League
  • Anne Merklinger, chief executive officer of Own the Podium
  • Mary-Kay Messier, vice-president of marketing for Bauer Hockey
  • Brad Morris, Hockey Canada Foundation Board of Directors
  • Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, chief executive officer of Canadian Women & Sport
  • Kim St-Pierre, regional manager at Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities and NWT alumna

“Supporting the growth of women’s and girls’ hockey in Canada is a priority for our board, and forming this committee is a tremendous next step to further understand and address the challenges that exist in the game,” said Jonathan Goldbloom, chair of the Hockey Canada Board of Directors. “We thank Gillian for taking on a leadership role with this project and are confident the committee’s efforts will benefit our organization, Members, stakeholders and Canadians for generations to come.”

After consulting with Hockey Canada’s Members, the committee’s women’s and girls’ hockey discussion paper is expected to be published in early summer 2024. Additional interviews will take place at that time with stakeholders inside and outside of the game, including opportunities for the Canadian public to be part of the research.

“Our women’s and girls’ hockey department, led by Marin Hickox, has made significant strides in the past few years to grow the game at all levels, including by mobilizing the leads from each of our Members,” said Henderson. “We are thrilled this new committee will work collectively with Marin and her leads to review existing research and establish a roadmap for where we all envision women’s and girls’ hockey in the future, as there remains a tremendous amount of potential to remove existing barriers to the sport.”

To learn more about Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along through social media on FacebookX and Instagram.

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Host locations selected for 2024 fall events

Ontario to host U17 World Challenge, Atlantic Canada to welcome U18 Women’s National Championship and Para Cup

NR.037.24
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May 28, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced the host communities for three of its fall events: the 2024 U17 World Challenge, 2024 U18 Women’s National Championship and 2024 Para Cup.

“These events play a critical role in the development of men’s, women’s and para hockey athletes, coaches, officials and staff, and we are thrilled to be bringing them to communities in Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island,” said Pat McLaughlin, chief operating officer and executive vice-president of strategy. “They are an excellent opportunity to create lifelong memories and leave a legacy in each community for years to come.”

The 2024 U17 World Challenge will be played Nov. 1-9 in Sarnia, Ontario. It is the seventh time Ontario will play host to the tournament, and the second time in Sarnia, following 2014.

The 2024 U18 Women’s National Championship will run Nov. 3-9 in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, bringing the event – and the future stars of the women’s game – to Atlantic Canada for the first time.

Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, which won a home-ice gold medal at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship earlier this month, will compete against three countries at the 2024 Para Cup, which will be held Dec. 8-14 in Charlottetown, P.E.I. It is the fifth time the tournament will be held in the Birthplace of Confederation and coincides with the 50th anniversary of ParaSport & Recreation PEI.

Fans can sign up now to receive ticket information or become a Hockey Canada Insider and receive advanced access to tickets and other promotions.

“These tournaments are often once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for participants, families and fans,” said Dean McIntosh, vice-president of strategic partnerships and community impact. “I’m confident in the host committees in these three great hockey markets and know we are set up for success with the passionate hockey fans and volunteers in each community.”

In the spring, Canada’s U18 Women’s National Club Championship will be decided at the 2025 Esso Cup, April 20-26 in Lloydminster, Alberta , while the U18 Men’s National Club Championship will be up for grabs April 21-27 at the 2025 TELUS Cup in Chilliwack, B.C.

The host communities for the 2025 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, and 2024 Junior A World Challenge will be announced at a later date.

To learn more about Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca , or follow along through social media on Facebook , X and Instagram .

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Canada finishes fourth at 2024 IIHF World Championship

National Men’s Team concludes Men’s Worlds with 4-2 loss to Sweden in bronze medal game

NR.036.24
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May 26, 2024

PRAGUE, Czechia – Canada’s National Men’s Team has finished fourth at the 2024 IIHF World Championship after falling 4-2 to Sweden in the bronze medal game at O2 Arena on Sunday.

“Playing for Canada is so special, and regardless of the circumstances, any time you get the call to represent your country and compete for a gold medal is an amazing opportunity,” said captain John Tavares (Oakville, ON/Toronto, NHL). “To wear the [captain’s] ‘C’ and play with this group of guys is something I will be forever grateful for, but obviously it is a disappointing result for us.”

After falling behind 1-0 in the first period on a Carl Grundström goal, Jamie Oleksiak (Toronto, ON/Seattle, NHL) found Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, YT/Buffalo, NHL), who buried his tournament-leading ninth goal from the slot to even the score.

Canada broke the deadlock just over four minutes into the third period when Pierre-Luc Dubois (Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, QC/Los Angeles, NHL) fired home a one-timer off a Brandon Hagel (Morinville, AB/Tampa Bay, NHL) cross-ice pass. Tavares also registered an assist on the play, moving him into a tie for the tournament lead in assists with nine.

Erik Karlsson and Grundström would give Sweden a 3-2 lead after scoring twice in 4:07 in the third period before Marcus Johansson scored into an empty net.

“The really tough loss was last night because we wanted to be playing for a gold medal today, but we also wanted to win our last game and bring home a bronze medal. Today stings but the semifinal stings a lot too,” Dubois said. “Every time you come [to the world championship], you meet unbelievable people. Some are new and some are players that you have met before, and I had an unbelievable time with this group. After a month together, it is tough to be so close to playing in the gold medal game but losing in a shootout.”

Jordan Binnington (Richmond Hill, ON/St. Louis, NHL) made 29 saves in the loss. A full game summary can be found at HockeyCanada.ca.

“It was a little tough to get our game going today, but I thought we were rock solid in the second period. We could have handled our lead a little better and I feel like we backed off [Sweden] too much, and unfortunately we were not as good as we needed to be,” said head coach André Tourigny (Nicolet, QC/Utah, NHL). “Our players worked hard all tournament, and they were very committed to winning and fought for each other. I have so much respect for all the guys in our room for the sacrifice they made to play in this tournament, and I am really proud of our team.”

Following the semifinals, Cozens, Brandon Tanev (Toronto, ON/Seattle, NHL) and Colton Parayko (St. Albert, AB/St. Louis, NHL) were named Team Canada’s three best players of the tournament.

Canada finished the preliminary round in first place in Group A after wins over Great Britain, Denmark, Austria, Norway, Finland, Switzerland and Czechia. It booked a spot in the semifinals after a 6-3 win over Slovakia before falling to Switzerland 3-2 in a shootout.

Since 1931, Canada has collected 28 gold medals at the IIHF World Championship, to go along with 16 silver and seven bronze.

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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Canada vs. Sweden

Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Sweden

Sunday, May 26 | 9 a.m. ET | Prague, Czechia | Bronze Medal Game

Jason La Rose
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May 26, 2024

The 2024 IIHF World Championship comes to a close Sunday as Canada’s National Men’s Team faces off against Sweden for the bronze medal at O2 Arena.

Last Game

Canada saw its quest for back-to-back gold medals halted Saturday in a 3-2 semifinal shootout loss to Switzerland. After the Swiss took a 2-0 first-period lead, the Canadians got goals from Brandon Tanev and John Tavares – with just over two minutes remaining – to force extra time, but came up one short in the shootout.

The Swedes had their perfect run come to an unceremonious end with a 7-3 semifinal loss to host Czechia. Joel Eriksson Ek led the offence with a goal and an assist for the Swedes, who had allowed just 10 goals across eight games prior to Saturday, and outshot the Czechs 40-23.

Last Meeting

An epic comeback highlighted the quarterfinal clash between the Canadians and Swedes in 2022. Trailing 3-0 entering the third period, Canada got goals from Ryan Graves, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Mat Barzal – the last two 30 seconds apart within the final two minutes – before Drake Batherson ended it 43 seconds into overtime for a 4-3 win and a place in the semifinals.

What to Watch

As this edition of Team Canada takes to the ice for the final time, it’s important to note once again the youth movement that answered the call of its country in Czechia. The Canadian roster averages 25 years old, tied with Norway and the United States for the youngest in the tournament. Half – 12 of 24 – were born in 2000 or later, and just five – Binnington, Oleksiak, Power, Tanev and Tavares – are in their 30s. And it’s a decorated group: 25 gold medals at IIHF competitions, including the Olympics, Men’s Worlds, World Juniors and U18 Men’s Worlds. Of those 25, 14 are from the World Juniors, and 11 are within the last five years. The future of Canadian hockey looks bright.

The ageless Erik Karlsson is at it again for the Swedes. The 33-year-old has posted 10 points (5-5—10) in nine games for Sweden, tying him for the team lead with Marcus Johansson (5-5—10) and Andre Burakovsky (4-6—10) and leaving him two points back of Swiss captain Roman Josi for the tournament scoring lead among blue-liners. Karlsson – wearing the ‘C’ for the Swedes – is playing his first IIHF World Championship since 2012. His international trophy case also includes an Olympic silver medal (2014), Men’s Worlds bronze (2010) and World Juniors silver (2009).

A Look Back

No opponent has been a more frequent foe for Canada at the IIHF World Championship than Sweden; Sunday’s game will mark the 69th meeting between the longtime rivals, dating back to a scoreless tie in 1931.

Since the medal round was reintroduced to IIHF tournaments in 1992, it’s the fifth time the Canadians and Swedes will meet for a medal, but just the second for bronze; at the 1992 Men’s Worlds, Brian Savage and Adam Graves scored third-period goals, but Canada dropped a 3-2 decision in Lillehammer, Norway.

All-time record: Canada leads 36-27-5 (3-3 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 242
Sweden goals: 191

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Canada vs. Switzerland

Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Switzerland

Saturday, May 25 | 12 p.m. ET | Prague, Czechia | Semifinal

Jason La Rose
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May 25, 2024

Canada’s National Men’s Team is set for a semifinal showdown with Switzerland on Saturday at the 2024 IIHF World Championship, two wins away from a 29th world title.

Last Game

Canada punched its ticket to the semis with a 6-3 quarterfinal win over Slovakia on Thursday. Nick Paul led the way with a goal and an assist, Dylan Guenther added one of each and the Canadians took a two-goal lead before the five-minute mark of the first period and never looked back.

The Swiss moved into the final four for the first time since they won silver in 2018 – and gained a measure of revenge in the process – by beating Germany 3-1 in their quarterfinal. Christoph Bertschy opened and closed the scoring for Switzerland, which lost at the same stage (by the same score) to the Germans a year ago.

Last Meeting

It’s been six whole days since the Canadians and Swiss clashed at Men’s Worlds. In a preliminary-round meeting last Sunday, Canada got three power-play goals – two from Dylan Cozens and one from Paul – in a 3-2 victory, handing Switzerland its first loss while keeping its unbeaten record intact.

What to Watch

Paul is best known to Team Canada fans for his overtime winner in the gold medal game at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, giving Canada the unlikeliest of world titles, and he has picked up right where he left off in Riga. The Mississauga native has found chemistry between Jared McCann and Connor Bedard (with Dylan Guenther sliding in on the right side on occasion), recording six points (3-3—6) in eight games. Paul, who had a terrific year with Tampa Bay, setting career-highs in goals (24), assists (22) and points (46), is in search of a third gold medal in as many tries; he was also part of the National Junior Team that won World Juniors gold in Toronto in 2015, scoring a goal in the gold medal game win over Russia.

A late addition to the Swiss lineup, Kevin Fiala has made a major impact. Since he was added two games in after his Los Angeles Kings were eliminated from the NHL playoffs, all Fiala has done is score six goals and add five assists, tying him for the team scoring lead with Nico Hischier (6-5—11) and Roman Josi (3-8—11). He scored in regulation and the shootout in his debut against Czechia, had two goals against Denmark, one against Canada and two more against Finland, leaving him two back of Dylan Cozens for the tournament goal-scoring lead. Fiala has been an integral piece of the tournament’s highest-scoring power play (Switzerland is 10-for-34, a 29.4% success rate), scoring three times with the man advantage

A Look Back

It’s meeting No. 36 between the Canadians and Swiss, with Canada laying claim to 27 wins from the first 35 (with two ties).

The most recent medal-round matchup came in the quarterfinals of the 2019 tournament in Kosice, Slovakia. With an early exit less than a second away, Damon Severson tied the game with four-tenths remaining before Mark Stone gave Canada a dramatic 3-2 overtime win. It’s the second time the countries will meet in a semifinal; in 2018, Bo Horvat and Colton Parayko scored goals, but Canada dropped a 3-2 decision in Copenhagen, Denmark.

All-time record: Canada leads 27-6-2 (4-2 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 172
Switzerland goals: 56

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Canada vs. Slovakia

Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Slovakia

Thursday, May 23 | 10 a.m. ET | Prague, Czechia | Quarterfinal

Jason La Rose
|
May 23, 2024

It’s on to the playoff round for Canada’s National Men’s Team, which takes on Slovakia in the first quarterfinal Thursday at the 2024 IIHF World Championship in Prague.

Last Game

Canada closed a out a perfect preliminary round Tuesday with an absolute thriller against the host Czechs, getting a pair of goals from Dylan Cozens – including a shorthanded overtime winner – in a 4-3 victory. Dawson Mercer and Brandon Hagel had the other Canadian goals in a game that saw six goals scored in a span of 17 minutes of the third period.

The Slovaks wrapped up the round-robin portion of their schedule with a 6-1 loss to Sweden on Tuesday. Michal Ivan scored the lone goal, while Stanislav Skorvanek finished with 37 saves as Slovakia dropped its second in a row.

Last Meeting

Canada and Slovakia went all the way to Round 8 of a shootout a year ago in the prelims in Riga, before Jack Quinn scored and Samuel Montembeault turned aside Martin Chromiak to secure a 2-1 win for the Canadians. Jake Neighbours scored the lone goal in regulation for Canada, which peppered Samuel Hlavaj with 44 shots through 65 minutes but needed a Michael Carcone goal in Round 5 to stay alive before Quinn got the winner.

What to Watch

How about John Tavares? The Canadian captain arrived in Czechia just as the tournament began and has slid seamlessly into the lineup. His eight points (1-7—8) are second-most among Canadian skaters, trailing only Dylan Cozens, his seven assists are one back of the tournament lead and – perhaps most impressively – he has absolutely dominated in the face-off circle, winning a whopping 76% of his draws (76 of 100), which puts him almost eight percentage points of second-place Brady Tkachuk of the U.S. (68.5%). Although it has been eight years since he donned the Maple Leaf, Tavares is one of the country’s most decorated representatives – he has won two World Juniors gold medals, an Olympic gold, a World Cup of Hockey and a Spengler Cup, posting 89 points (42-47—89) in 74 international games.

The kids have been alright for Slovakia so far. While it’s 33-year-old Libor Hudacek leading the team in scoring with nine points (5-4—9) in seven prelim games, he’s followed closely behind by 20-year-olds Juraj Slafkovsky (0-7—7) and Simon Nemec (1-5—6) and 24-year-old Martin Pospisil (3-4—7). Slafkovsky and Nemec are the future of Slovak hockey – they made history in 2022 when they went one-two to Montreal and New Jersey, respectively, in the NHL Draft, becoming the highest drafted players ever from Slovakia. Slafkovsky announced his arrival on the international stage two years ago in Finland, recording nine points in eight games as an 18-year-old, one month before the Canadiens took him No. 1.

A Look Back

Canada has won the last five meetings with Slovakia, dating back to 2014, and 13 of the 17 all-time meetings going back to 1996 when Slovakia returned to the Top Division after its split from Czechia.

Included in those 17 are three quarterfinal meetings – Slovakia earned a 3-2 victory in 2002, Patrice Bergeron had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 Canadian win in 2006 and the Slovaks made a late comeback to get a 4-3 victory in 2012.

All-time record: Canada leads 13-2-2 (1-0 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 65
Slovakia goals: 40

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SportsPay becomes Preferred Payment Partner of Hockey Canada

National partnership effective immediately

NR.035.24
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May 22, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced SportsPay as its Preferred Payment Partner, through a national partnership which is effective immediately.

A leading payment provider for amateur sports organizations in Canada, SportsPay is proudly Canadian and has been a long-time supporter of amateur hockey in Canada.

Through its partnership with Hockey Canada, SportsPay will support the processing of online transactions, including through the Hockey Canada Registry.

“SportsPay prides itself on providing user-friendly experiences to Canadian sport organizations, and we are excited to officially welcome them as Hockey Canada’s Preferred Payment Partner to deliver those experiences to local hockey associations across the country,” said Dean McIntosh, Hockey Canada’s senior vice-president of revenue, fan experience and community impact. “The Hockey Canada Registry is used to process hundreds of thousands of registrations each season, and through our partnership with SportsPay, we’re pleased that the platform will continue to meet the needs of our participants and associations.”

"I am very excited to enhance our 20-year relationship with Hockey Canada and to support minor hockey across Canada," said Will Gravlev, president of POSconnect Inc. and creator of SportsPay. "Everyone at SportsPay is continuously committed to providing simple and effective payments for amateur sports and keeping leagues focused on what matters."

To learn more about Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along through social media on FacebookX and Instagram.

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Canada vs. Czechia

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

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For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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MWC: Highlights – SWE 4, CAN 2 (Bronze Medal)
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MWC: Highlights – SUI 3, CAN 2 SO (Semifinal)
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 6, SVK 3 (Quarterfinal)
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 4, CZE 3 OT (Preliminary)
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MWC: Remembering the wild ride in Riga
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Centennial: Highlights – Collingwood 1, Melfort 0 (Championship)
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 3, SUI 2 (Preliminary)
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 5, FIN 3 (Preliminary)
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NMT: Evason brings passion and pride to Prague
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MWC: Highlights – CAN 4, NOR 1 (Preliminary)
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Calgary Canucks (AJHL) vs. Melfort Mustangs (SJHL)| Centennial Cup
Schedule
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Edmonton, Alta., Canada
Date: Aug 3 to 10