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World Juniors Preview: Canada vs. Austria

Tuesday, December 28 | 5 p.m. MT | Edmonton, Alberta | Preliminary Round

December 28, 2021
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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.

LAST GAME

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.

LAST MEETING

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 pandemic that 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

For more information:

Dominick Saillant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
514-895-9706
[email protected]

 

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
[email protected]

 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
[email protected]

 

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