GAME NOTES: Canada vs. Sweden (April 27)
TV: TSN | Stream: TSN Direct
Deep in the heart of Texas, let the games begin. Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team is the last of the 10 teams going for gold in Frisco and
Plano to get their schedule underway at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship, and Group B action starts with a
tough test – the defending gold medallists from Sweden.
Canada earned a win in its lone pre-tournament game on Saturday afternoon,
getting goals from five different players and points from 13 in a 5-1 victory over Finland. All three goaltenders saw action for the Canadians,
who were busy on the penalty kill – they allowed just a single goal on nine
Sweden opened its tournament with a win, pulling away for a 5-1 victory
over Belarus on Monday afternoon. Ludwig Persson led the offence with a
goal and an assist, Mattias Havelid added a pair of helpers and Carl
Lindbom made 29 saves for the Swedes, who scored the game’s final three
The Canadians and Swedes met in a back-and-forth semifinal at the 2019 U18 worlds in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. The hosts held leads of 1-0 and 3-2 – both
answered by Connor Zary goals – and Canada’s lone advantage came at 2-1
early in the second period after an Alex Newhook marker. It was the Swedes
who would strike last, with an Albin Grewe goal at 17:29 of the third
period sending the Nordic nation to the gold medal game with a 4-3 win.
WHAT TO WATCH
This is one of the deepest rosters Canada has ever sent to the IIHF U18
World Championship, and it showed in the pre-tournament win over the Finns.
All four Canadian lines can score, the defence is rock-solid in its own
zone and can chip in offensively where needed, and the goaltending is
strong regardless of which of the three netminders is between the pipes.
There are a few names that get the headlines, but anyone can be the hero on
any given night.
The Swedes are the defending champions for a reason, and they ice a deep
roster of their own. Simon Edvinsson might be the best defenceman in the
tournament and will very likely be the first Swede off the board at the NHL
Draft. The Scandinavians got the proverbial monkey off their backs on home
ice in 2019, finally winning their first U18 gold medal after five-straight
losses in the gold medal game, and are always among the tournament’s best
THE FUTURE IS NOW
This game will include 11 players who received an ‘A’ grade from NHL
Central Scouting – meaning they are a candidate to be chosen in the first
round of the 2021 NHL Draft.
Canada (6) – Ceulemans, Clarke, Guenther, McTavish, Pinelli, Roulette
Sweden (5) – Edvinsson, Lysell, Robertsson, Rosen, Stromgren
For good measure, there are another 13 who received a ‘B’ grade (second- or
third-round potential) – nine Canadians and four Swedes.
A LOOK BACK
The head-to-head history is almost dead even, with the Canadians holding a
narrow 9-8 advantage. The teams have split the last four meetings, with
each earning a victory in regulation and extra time (Sweden in a shootout in 2016, Canada in overtime in 2018). They have met twice before on
American ice – the Canadians scored a 4-2 prelim win in 2009 in Fargo,
N.D., on the back of two Joey Hishon goals, and the Swedes posted the
aforementioned shootout victory in 2016 in Grand Forks, N.D.).
All-time record: Canada leads 9-8 (1-1 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 61
Sweden goals: 50