GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. AUSTRIA (DEC. 28)
TV: TSN | Radio: TSN Radio | Stream: TSN Direct
Looking to build off its come-from-behind tournament-opening win over the
Czechs on Boxing Day,
Canada’s National Junior Team is back on the ice Tuesday at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship for a
rare meeting with Austria.
The Canadians found themselves in an early two-goal hole against Czechia,
down 3-1 less than 13 minutes in. But it was even before the first period
ended and the power play took over from there,
scoring three times in the final 40 minutes of a 6-3 win. Owen Power paced the offence, becoming the first Canadian defenceman to
record a hat trick at the World Juniors, Mason McTavish had a goal and an
assist and Cole Perfetti added three helpers.
The Austrians got 41 saves from Sebastian Wraneschitz and a power-play goal
from Martin Urbanek, but dropped a 7-1 decision to Finland in its opener on
Monday afternoon. Austria managed just nine shots on goal in the loss.
Canada and Austria have met just once at the World Juniors, way back on
Dec. 30, 1980. The Canadians led 1-0 after one period and 5-0 after two
before adding a six-spot in the final 20 minutes of an 11-1 win.
The late Dale Hawerchuk led the way with two goals and an assist and Fred
Boimistruck added two goals of his own for Team Canada, which was
represented by the Memorial Cup champion Cornwall Royals in the final year
before the Program of Excellence.
WHAT TO WATCH
How about Power? The defenceman came into the tournament with plenty of
hype as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, and the Buffalo
Sabres prospect delivered. His goal just 23 seconds after the Czechs made
it 3-1 in the first period started to shift the momentum, and he struck on
back-to-back 5-on-3 advantages in the second, blasting home a one-timer to
give Canada the lead for good before cleaning up a rebound 1:25 after that,
setting a Canadian World Juniors record for fastest two power-play goals by
one player. What can he do for an encore?
It’s unclear if he’ll get the start in the second half of the back-to-back,
but Wraneschitz has been absolutely terrific for the Austrians over the
last two World Juniors. A year ago, he turned in performances of 58, 61 and
54 saves as Austria went winless, and he was very good against the Finns to
open his 2022 account. And keep an eye on captain Marco Kasper, who debuted
as a 16-year-old last year and returns to Edmonton wearing the ‘C’.
YOUTH BEING SERVED
The International Ice Hockey Federation announced Sunday that to “ensure
the intregrity of the sporting competition” in the face of the COVID-19
no teams will be relegated for the second year in a row.
That bodes well for the Austrians, who have the second-youngest roster in
Alberta (only Slovakia is younger). Of their 22 skaters (forwards and
defence), only six are ineligible to return next year in Novosibirsk, and
only one defenceman. The Austrians have six 2004-born players in their
lineup – the other nine teams combined have 14.
A LOOK BACK
Not much more to say than what was talked about above; just one meeting at
the 1981 tournament, an 11-1 Canadian win.
All-time record: Canada leads 1-0
Canada goals: 11
Austria goals: 1