GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. LATVIA (AUG. 10)
TV: TSN | Radio: TSN Radio | Stream: TSN Direct
Let the games begin in Edmonton!
Canada’s National Junior Team
opens preliminary-round play at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship
against Latvia, getting Group A action started with just the third meeting
ever between the countries.
The Canadians looked good early in their
4-3 pre-tournament win over Sweden on Monday night, getting goals 34 seconds apart from Nathan Gaucher and
Mason McTavish midway through the first period and a power-play marker from
Kent Johnson before the end of the opening frame for a 3-0 lead. Joshua Roy
made it 4-1 early in the third before the Swedes made things interesting.
Dylan Garand got the start between the pipes for Canada, stopping all 15
shots he faced before Sebastian Cossa turned aside eight of 11.
Latvia opened its Group A schedule on Tuesday afternoon,
falling 6-1 to Finland. Bruno Bruveris was the standout between the pipes for the Baltic nation,
finishing with 33 saves. Klavs Weinbergs provided the lone goal for the
Latvians, converting on a power play early in the third period.
It has been almost six years since Canada and Latvia met at the World
Taylor Raddysh was the offensive star on Dec. 29, 2016, registering just the fourth four-goal game by a Canadian and adding an
assist for good measure in a 10-2 win. Dylan Strome recorded four assists,
Kale Clague had three and Mathew Barzal scored twice for Canada, which
netted its 10 goals on just 35 shots.
WHAT TO WATCH
How about the season Kent Johnson had in 2021-22? The 19-year-old played in
the IIHF World Junior Championship, the Olympic Winter Games, the IIHF
World Championship and the NCAA Frozen Four, and made his NHL debut with
the Columbus Blue Jackets. And all of that happened between December and
May. So the product of Port Moody, B.C. – an alternate captain with Team
Canada – is going to leaned upon for his experience … and his offence.
Johnson had 37 points in 32 games with a star-studded University of
Latvia is back at the World Juniors for the first time since 2017, and its
roster includes a number of players who are no stranger to North American
hockey. Five ply their trade in the USHL, another five have CHL experience
(three in the QMJHL, one in the OHL and one in the WHL) and three are
enrolled at U.S. colleges. So there won’t be a fear factor when it comes to
playing the physical brand of hockey Canadian entries are typically known
for at the tournament.
A LOOK BACK
Other than the game mentioned above from the 2017 World Juniors, Canada and
Latvia have only met one other time.
a Boxing Day matchup at the 2010 tournament in Saskatchewan, featured plenty of offence from the Canadians. Gabriel Bourque tied the
single-game record with seven points (3-4—7) and Jordan Eberle, Brandon
Kozun, Patrice Cormier, Nazem Kadri and Luke Adam each scored a pair of
goals in a 16-0 win.
All-time record: Canada leads 2-0-0
Canada goals: 26
Latvia goals: 2