2022 wjc can fin 08 15

World Juniors Preview: Canada vs. Finland

Saturday, August 20 | 6 p.m. MT | Edmonton, Alberta | Gold Medal Game

Jason La Rose
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August 20, 2022
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GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. FINLAND (AUG. 20)

One more. It all comes down to Saturday night for Canada’s National Junior Team, which faces off against Finland in the gold medal game at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship, one win from a 19th World Juniors gold.

LAST GAME

Canada booked its place in the final for the third year in a row with a 5-2 semifinal win over Czechia on Friday afternoon. Kent Johnson drove the offence with a goal and two assists, opening the scoring before setting up a pair of key power-play goals in the second period. Connor Bedard, Logan Stankoven, Mason McTavish (with his tournament-leading eighth goal) and Joshua Roy also found the back of the net, while Dylan Garand made 31 saves.

The Finns faced their Nordic neighbours from Sweden in their semifinal, in what turned out to be a titanic defensive struggle. The goaltenders starred – Juha Jatkola stopped all 23 shots he faced and Jesper Wallstedt turned aside 27 of 28 – and a power-play goal from Kasper Puutio late in the second period was the lone marker as the Finns earned a 1-0 win to return to the gold medal game for the first time since they won gold in 2019.

LAST MEETING

The Canadians and Finns closed out the preliminary round on Monday night with first place in Group A on the line. Brennan Othmann, Tyson Foerster and Bedard gave Canada a 3-0 first-period lead and it was 5-1 after 40 minutes thanks to Ridly Greig and McTavish. Penalty trouble for the Canadians made things interesting in the third, but an empty-net goal from William Dufour sealed a 6-3 win and a perfect prelims.

WHAT TO WATCH

Top to bottom, the Canadians are pretty darn good. Their 38 goals lead the tournament, they are clicking at a 57.1% success rate on the power play (second only to Finland), McTavish leads the tournament with 15 points (just the 12th Canadian to reach that mark in a single year), Olen Zellweger is a tournament-best +12 (tied with McTavish) and is the first Canadian defenceman to reach double digits in points since Thomas Chabot in 2017, and Garand has fashioned a .923 save percentage (best among goaltenders who have appeared more than twice). Gold No. 19 is a solid 60 minutes away.

Looking at the Finns, the conversation begins and ends with the power play. Finland has scored 14 times with the man advantage in the tournament, exactly half of its 28 total goals and almost double the next most efficient unit (Canada has eight PPGs). It provided the only goal in the semifinal win over the Swedes, the third time in its five victories that the game-winning goal came while a man up. Six different Finns have scored on the power play, led by four from Roby Järventie and three each from Roni Hirvonen and Joel Määttä.

A LOOK BACK

The Canadians have faced the Finns 40 times since the first IIHF World Junior Championship in 1977, fashioning a 25-9-6 (W-L-T) record. The teams are also frequent foes in the playoff round; in the last decade, they’ve matched up in the quarterfinals (2016, 2019), semifinals (2014, 2020) and bronze medal game (2012). Jonathan Huberdeau owns the best single-game performance by a Canadian against the Finns, posting a goal and four assists in a tournament-opening 8-1 win in 2012.

All-time record: Canada leads 25-9-6 (Finland leads 1-0 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 160
Finland goals: 103

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]

Videos
Photos
2022 IPH: CAN 4 – CZE 1 (Semifinal)
Dominic Cozzolino scored twice to lead Canada to the IPH Cup Final.
2022 IPH: USA 8 – CAN 2 (Preliminary)
Jacobs-Webb and Hickey had power play goals in Canada’s prelim finale.
2022 IPH: CAN 5 – IPH 2 (Preliminary)
Cozzolino had a four-point game as Canada defeated Team IPH on Sunday.
2022 IPH: CAN 3 – CZE 0 (Preliminary)
Hickey scored twice and Huneault made 13 saves in Canada’s shutout.
Schedule