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Hlinka Gretzky Cup Preview: Canada vs. Finland

Friday, July 29 | 7 p.m. MT | Red Deer, Alberta | Pre-Tournament

July 29, 2022


TV: TSN | Stream: TSN Direct

Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team will have its first test against international competition on Friday night as it takes on Finland in pre-tournament action ahead of the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.


This will be the first Hlinka Gretzky Cup for Canada since 2019; the 2020 edition in Alberta was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Canadians chose not to participate in the 2021 tournament on European ice. Its last action came in the 2019 gold medal game, where it suffered a 3-2 loss to Russia. Canada carried the play from start to finish, outshooting the Russians 37-13, but Yaroslav Askarov stole the show for Russia in a 35-save effort. Quinton Byfield tied the game early in the second period and Jean-Luc Foudy made it a one-goal game in the third, but the Canadians settled for silver in Breclav.

Finland was on the ice at the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, dropping a 4-3 decision to Sweden in the bronze medal game. A back-and-forth game throughout, Finland took a one-goal lead to the third period thanks to Otto Heinonen, Tommi Männistö and Nashville first-rounder Joakim Kemell, but the Swedes scored twice in the final 5:47, including the winner with 28 seconds left, to leave the Finns off the podium.


Canada and Finland last saw each other in the prelim opener at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, a 6-0 win for the Canadians. Cole Perfetti scored twice (his first two of a tournament-leading seven goals), as did Seth Jarvis. Will Cuylle and Ridly Greig also found the back of the net, and netminder Tristan Lennox made 17 saves to earn the shutout.


Andrew Cristall is coming off a successful camp in Calgary, scoring four goals and adding two assists in four intrasquad games, including two against the 2023 National Junior Team hopefuls. Drafted eighth by Kelowna in the 2020 WHL Prospects Draft, the Burnaby, B.C., native was an offensive powerhouse in his rookie season with the Rockets, posting 69 points (28-41—69) in 61 games to finish third in WHL rookie scoring and first among all 2005-born players. Slotting in on the left wing for Canada, Cristall will be a playmaker to watch in Red Deer.

The Finnish men’s program has seen huge success on the international stage in 2022 – it won gold at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and 2022 IIHF World Championship and claimed bronze at the 2022 IIHF U18 World Championship. Two players – Jesse Kiiskinen and Tuomas Uronen – are back from the worlds side.


Canada holds an historic advantage over Finland at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, winning seven of eight games played since 1996 (with the other finishing in a tie).

Only one of those meetings has been for gold – Nathan MacKinnon scored a hat trick and Zach Fucale made 23 saves for the shutout as Canada posted a 4-0 victory in 2012, winning its fifth of what would be eight consecutive gold medals.

All-time record: Canada leads 7-0-1
Canada goals: 36
Finland goals: 11

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]

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