TV: TSN | Stream: TSN Direct
Canada’s National Men’s Team
comes off a comeback for the ages in the quarterfinals and is ready for the next stage of the medal round at the 2022 IIHF World Championship, taking on Czechia in the
Down 3-0 heading into the third period, Canada stormed back for an
4-3 overtime win over Sweden
to advance to the semifinals. Ryan Graves got Canada on the board just over
a minute into the third period with a blast from the point, and it remained
a two-goal game until the final two minutes. Pierre-Luc Dubois got the
Canadians within one and Mathew Barzal, on his birthday, scored 30 seconds
later to tie the game. Another power play in overtime led to a
Barzal-to-Drake-Batherson winner, finishing the unbelievable comeback.
Czechia’s quarterfinal was much more straight forward, as it jumped out to
an early lead on Germany and never looked back,
finishing with a 4-1 win. David Pastrnak scored on the power play just over two minutes into the
game and Roman Cernvenka added another man-advantage marker midway through
the first period. David Krejci scored a power-play goal for Czechia in the
second, and Jiri Smejkal sealed the win with an empty-netter.
The last time these teams met at worlds was also in the semis, with
Canada coming out on top 5-1
in 2019. Matt Murray was the star in that game, making 40 saves, while Mark
Stone had a goal and an assist. Two other familiar names (i.e. currently
playing for Team Canada) also scored in that game: Pierre-Luc Dubois and
WHAT TO WATCH
Canada scored three of its four goals against Sweden with a man advantage
(two power-play goals and one with the goaltender on the bench). As the
tournament gets closer to the end, being able to score at even strength
will be essential. But Canada showed incredible resiliency against a
higher-seeded team, outshooting Sweden 19-1 in the second period, despite
no goals to show for it, and will be a force to reckon with in the
semifinals with momentum on its side.
And as noted above, Czechia also scored three of its four goals while up a
man, so special teams will play a special importance in the semifinals. As
will shutting down the Davids (Krejci and Pastrnak) – the duo have combined
for 17 points. Cernvenka, meanwhile, has 14 points of his own, so there are
a few key players to focus on for Canadian defenders.
A LOOK BACK
It’s a deadheat between Canada and Czechia dating back to their first
meeting in 1993, with both teams claiming 12 wins and 72 goals each. Canada
has had the edge lately, putting up six straight wins.
The closest of that latest stretch was a
2-1 Canadian victory in 2013
. Wayne Simmonds scored in the first period, answered by Petr Koukal six
minutes later. Jeff Skinner made an end-to-end rush in the third for the
game-winner, with Mike Smith picking up an assist on the play and making 30
saves in the win.
All-time record: Tied 12-12-0 (W-L-T)
Canada goals: 72
Czechia goals: 72