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Summer Showcase schedules announced for Canada’s national teams

Men’s, women’s and para hockey teams to host camps in Calgary

NR.024.21
|
June 30, 2021

CALGARY, Alta. – After a 2020-21 season that saw limited on-ice opportunities and virtual summer camps, Hockey Canada has announced its men’s and women’s national teams will return to the ice in July for their annual summer camps.

From July 25-Aug. 10, Hockey Canada’s national team program, including the men’s under-18 and under-20 teams, and women’s under-18, NextGen (born in 2003), development and senior national teams, will gather in Calgary for a series of on- and off-ice activities for the first time since 2019.

“After a unique and difficult season, Hockey Canada is thrilled to provide our national team athletes and staff the opportunity to return to the ice for our annual summer camps in Calgary,” said Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), senior vice-president of national teams. “We look forward to hosting the top athletes and staff from across the country in July, and are excited to kick off our preparations for a new season and a number of international competitions.”

The Program of Excellence (POE) camps, which includes the men’s under-18 and under-20 programs, will take place at the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex on the Tsuut'ina Nation, while the BFL National Women’s Program Summer Showcase, presented by Sobeys, will take place at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park. Canada’s National Para Hockey Team will also gather for a five-day off-ice boot camp in preparation for the 2021-22 season and 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.

“This year’s summer camps mark the first time that all levels of the National Women’s Program will participate in camp at the same time, helping us provide consistency with all our athletes and staff throughout the program,” said Gina Kingsbury (Rouyn-Noranda, Que.), director of women’s national teams. “Despite a difficult season, our athletes have done an excellent job of staying connected and working hard with limited resources, and we are excited to get back on the ice this summer as we work towards the upcoming season.”

The following national team camps and programs will be hosted in Calgary this summer:

• National Para Hockey Team boot camp (July 21-25)
• National Women’s Team pre-worlds camp (July 25-Aug. 10)
• National Men’s Under-18 Team summer development camp (July 26-Aug. 3)
• BFL National Women’s Under-18 Team summer camp, presented by Sobeys (July 29-Aug. 5) – including NextGen athletes
• BFL National Women’s Development Team summer camp, presented by Sobeys (July 29-Aug. 9)
• National Junior Team summer development camp (July 29-Aug. 3)

In the coming weeks, Hockey Canada will announce the rosters and staffs for each national team program.

For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.

Canada vs. United States

Para Worlds Preview: Canada vs. United States

Sunday, May 12 | 5:30 p.m. MT | Calgary, Alberta | Gold Medal Game

Jason La Rose
|
May 12, 2024

This one’s for all the marbles. The 2024 World Para Hockey Championship comes to a close Sunday at WinSport Arena with an all-North American matchup for gold as Canada’s National Para Hockey Team takes on the United States.

Last Game

Canada survived a semifinal thriller, getting goals 84 seconds apart from Micah Kovacevich and Dominic Cozzolino early in the third period to earn a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over China on Friday night. Tyler McGregor added two assists for the Canadians.

The Americans had a nail-biter of their own in Friday’s first semifinal, getting the go-ahead goal from Malik Jones with 7:01 remaining to earn a 3-1 win over Czechia and a chance to defend their world title. Chris Douglas scored the other two goals for the U.S.

Last Meeting

The Canadians and Americans have met 10 times this season, most recently in the finale of a brief two-game series in Calgary in early April. Liam Hickey scored for Canada, but the Americans got a goal and an assist from Josh Misiewicz and the game-winner from Declan Farmer to leave the Canadians with a 4-1 defeat.

What to Watch

Adam Kingsmill continues to be an absolute workhorse for the Canadians this season; the Smithers, B.C., product has appeared in 17 of the 20 games played by Canada’s National Para Hockey Team this season and was terrific in the semifinals. After having faced just 11 shots across his first two starts, Kingsmill turned away 14 of 15 on Friday night, keeping the Canadians in the game as they looked to break through the Chinese defence and erase an early deficit. Not bad for a netminder who wasn’t part of the Canadian roster a year ago at Para Worlds and had just 10 international appearances on his résumé entering this season.

The American offence starts and ends with Farmer. The 26-year-old is once again at the top of the tournament scoring chart, posting 19 points (10-9—19) in four games, including a four-goal game in the Day 1 win over Slovakia and an eight-point effort in a win over China in the prelim finale. But the most important play the Tampa native has made all tournament long might not have come with the puck on his stick; with the U.S. clinging to a one-goal lead late in its semifinal with the Czechs, Farmer sprawled across the goal line to deny Czech captain Radek Zelinka and ensure he would have a shot at a fifth world championship.

A Look Back

The head-to-head history between the Canadians and Americans is very close, with the U.S. holding a narrow 66-59-1 advantage.

The Americans have had the upper hand as of late; the last win for Canada came back on Oct. 29, 2021, when Anton Jacobs-Webb scored the winner 13 seconds into the third period, helping the Canadians earn a 4-2 victory in the opener of a two-game series in the St. Louis suburbs.

It’s the seventh time the rivals will meet for Para Worlds gold, and the seventh in a row. Canada has won two of those finals, claiming a pair of world titles on Korean ice – 2013 in Goyang and 2017 in Gangneung.

All-time record: United States leads 66-59-1 (13-8 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 243
United States goals: 278

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Canada wins gold at 2024 World Para Hockey Championship

Canadians capture first gold medal at Para Worlds since 2017

NR.033.24
|
May 12, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Canada’s National Para Hockey Team has won gold at the World Para Hockey Championship for the first time since 2017, defeating the United States 2-1 in Sunday’s gold medal game at WinSport Arena.

Adam Kingsmill (Smithers, BC)
turned in a sensational performance in the Canadian goal, making 24 saves and earning Player of the Game honours.

The Canadians wasted no time in opening the scoring; Dominic Cozzolino (Mississauga, ON) tucked in his seventh goal of the tournament off a rebound from a Rob Armstrong (Erin, ON) shot just 35 seconds into the game, the lone goal of the first period.

“Scoring that early felt amazing. It was our plan to come out and get an early start, but it could have been any one of the guys in our locker room that scored, I was just in the right place at the right time,” Cozzolino said.We put a lot of pride in selling out to play good defence, and that win is a testament to every guy in on our team. This is an amazing feeling; it is what you dream of as a kid. This feels so good right now.”

Anton Jacobs-Webb (Gatineau, QC) doubled the Canadian lead off a behind-the-net feed from captain Tyler McGregor (Forest, ON) with 5:54 remaining in the second period for the eventual game-winning goal.

“I had the same mindset for every game. Our head coach Russ Herrington has brought us through with a strong mindset, so I think everyone on our team was able to play freely today,” Kingsmill said. “I did not see the puck very often because my teammates kept blocking shots. They made the game easy for me. I feel great, my whole family is here. I cannot help but smile. I do not have words to sum it all up right now, I think it will take a little while before I can do that.”

For a full game summary and recap, please visit HockeyCanada.ca.

“We needed to be ready for the day that things aligned for us – that is our responsibility. I have to credit our guys for showing patience and allowing the weight of the game to not become an impact on their performance,” said head coach Russ Herrington (Unionville, ON). “Props to the Calgary community for coming out tonight and spending Mother’s Day evening here cheering on Team Canada. I really felt like that energy helped us for sure, and you could certainly feel the pride from the crowd oozing into our bench and carried on the ice.”

Following the game, Cozzolino was named the Top Forward of the tournament.

Canada finished first in Group B with a perfect 3-0 record in the preliminary round with wins over Japan (19-0), Italy (10-0) and Czechia (5-1). Canada then booked its spot in the gold medal game with a 2-1 semifinal victory over China.

In 13 appearances, Canada has captured five gold medals at the World Para Hockey Championship (2000, 2008, 2013, 2017, 2024), in addition to four silver (2015, 2019, 2021, 2023) and three bronze (1996, 2009, 2012).

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on FacebookX and Instagram.

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Canada vs. Sweden

Para Worlds Preview: Canada vs. China

Friday, May 10 | 5:30 p.m. MT | Calgary, Alberta | Semifinal

Jason La Rose
|
May 10, 2024

It’s on to the playoffs for Canada’s National Para Hockey Team, which takes on China in the second semifinal Friday at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship.

Last Game

Canada closed out a perfect preliminary round with a 5-1 win over Czechia on Tuesday night. Tyler McGregor finished with a pair of goals – including the game-winner just 11 seconds into the second period – as did James Dunn. Liam Hickey added a goal and two assists, while Dominic Cozzolino had three helpers.

The Chinese finished out their prelim schedule with a 10-0 loss to the United States on Tuesday afternoon. After scoring 10 goals in each of their first two games to earn a semifinal spot, China managed just three shots against the Americans. Wei Wang finished with 20 saves in the Chinese goal.

Last Meeting

The Canadians and Chinese met for the first time ever at the 2023 Para Hockey Cup in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, last December. After scoring a 4-1 win in the tournament opener, Canada earned a 6-0 semifinal victory on the back of a McGregor hat trick and four assists from Cozzolino.

What to Watch

Auren Halbert has been terrific in front of the hometown fans in Calgary, contributing a goal and three assists in three prelim games. The 21-year-old also shares the team lead (alongside McGregor and Hickey) with a +15 mark. And while the Cozzolino-Hickey-McGregor triumvirate has posted a ridiculous 45 points (20-25—45) between them, the Canadians are getting contributions from up and down the lineup – eight of the nine forwards and all four defencemen averaged at least a point per game in the preliminary round.

While the offence dried up against the Americans, China was all over the scoresheet in shutout wins over Korea and Slovakia. And it was offence by committee – five players (Shen Yi Feng, Zhang Zheng, Zhu Zhan Fu, Tian Jin Tao, Li Hong Guan) posted at least five points in the two wins, while Song Xiao Dong scored a team-high five goals. In goal, Ji Yan Zhao was perfect between the pipes, turning aside all 13 shots he faced in the two wins.

A Look Back

Nothing to look back at that hasn’t already been mentioned above. Two games in Quispamsis, two wins for Canada.

All-time record: Canada leads 2-0
Canada goals: 10
China goals: 1

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A place to belong

Since 2011, the Calgary Sledge Hockey Association has been creating opportunities – and building Team Canada athletes like Auren Halbert along the way

Lee Boyadjian
|
May 09, 2024

Smiles, laughter and pure joy. The first time getting on the ice for anyone who loves the game quickly becomes a core memory. But for Auren Halbert, it was so much more.

“It was the first time I'd ever had a competitive outlet, and to be among other people with similar disabilities, it was just incredible,” says the 22-year-old, who was born without a femur in his left leg.

Playing at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship on home ice in Calgary is special for Auren. He played the preliminary round in front a sizeable contingent of family and friends, most with a direct connection to the Calgary Sledge Hockey Association (CSHA), the launching point of his career.

“We've had a great run of Team Canada men’s players that have come through our organization: Cody Dolan, Zach Lavin, Auren and Adam Kingsmill,” says Alan Halbert, president of the CSHA and proud dad to Auren. “But we're not here to build everybody into Team Canada players, we’re here to build people into the best versions of themselves.

“We just want to go out and have fun.”

The CSHA has had a presence in the Stampede City since the 1980s, but has grown from about 20 players to more than 80 since officially incorporating in 2011, with more than 20 coaches and volunteers giving support. There are programs for players of any age, skill and ability level.

Teams are divided by age and skill level, with players under 18 years old making up the junior team (Venom) before graduating to the intermediate team (Stingers), though high-performance athletes may transition through the levels more quickly. The senior team (Scorpions) is the highest level available and competes provincially or even nationally.

The senior team wasn’t always the powerhouse it has developed into, and a decade ago Alan had to learn the sport himself to help with the roster.

“At that time, I was naïve. I was like ‘Can I play? It’s kind of a disability sport.’ But now everybody is in there, it’s so inclusive,” he explains, adding that he has seen teams built as able-bodied friends and family support a loved-one with a disability.

“He started a couple years after I did and at first he was definitely a better player than I was,” Auren says of his dad with a laugh. “That definitely helped with my competitiveness; I just had to prove to my dad that I was a better player than he was.”

While there is no question the younger Halbert has become the stronger of the two, it is the dedication of Alan and his wife, Ashley, to the CSHA that has had a major impact on his own commitment to the game.

“It’s honestly unbelievable the amount of effort [my parents] have put into the organization,” Auren says. “It’s just super awesome to be able to have such good support in the city.

“It’s pretty inspiring to see how passionate [my parents] are about this.”

Alan has held just about every role within the association: athlete, coach, board member and treasurer. He took on the presidency in 2017 but shortly after was relocated to Pittsburgh for work. With no one else interested in the position, he remained at the helm, working remotely long before that was the norm. Seven years later, Alan is still president and continues to look for ways to grow the CSHA.

“We are kind of on the forefront of always trying to expand the sport, not only within Calgary, but we help a lot of the surrounding areas and provinces as well,” Alan explains. “We have a really great rapport with a lot of teams that we were playing as Auren was growing up, and they were just creating their programs… so they wanted to do something and we're there to help them or just to play.”

Auren also remains active with the CSHA, practicing and sometimes playing with the senior team. He also hopes to help with a summer camp this year “just to get out and teach people what I know.”

But first, the young defenceman has to close out his fifth season with Canada’s National Para Hockey Team with his fourth Para Worlds, in the same rink where he saw Team Canada play for the first time 13 years ago.

“In Auren’s first season, we kind of got going, hit the ground running and within a couple of months the World Sledge Hockey Challenge was [in Calgary],” Alan remembers. “I think he ended up on the ice as a flag-bearer, so got really exposed and that fueled his fire from a young age.

“It’s kind of come full circle.”

Auren knows this Para Worlds is his opportunity to create that same drive in a young athlete and bring new fans to the game. And while that motivates his play, he is eager to put on a show for the people who have supported him from the beginning.

“I think it'll be the first time a lot of my family have seen me play at this level, so it’s going to be pretty meaningful to be able to show them all I can do,” Auren says. “To have people I know in the stands and to know that they're all cheering for me and maybe hear a couple chants from them in the crowd… this will definitely be one of the greatest moments of all time for me.”

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Canada vs. Sweden

Para Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Czechia

Tuesday, May 7 | 5 p.m. MT | Calgary, Alberta | Preliminary Round

Jason La Rose
|
May 07, 2024

First place in Group B is on the line Tuesday night when Canada’s National Para Hockey Team closes out the preliminary round against Czechia in a battle of unbeaten teams at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship.

Last Game

Canada continued its offensive roll Sunday against Italy, reaching double digits for the second time in as many games in a 10-0 victory. Tyler McGregor led the charge with four goals and an assist, while Liam Hickey added two goals and four assists to take over the tournament scoring lead with 13 points (5-8—13) in two games.

The Czechs also made it two wins in as many tries Sunday, posting a 5-0 victory over Japan. Filip Vesely scored twice and added an assist, and Vaclav Hecko chipped in with a goal and a helper. Martin Kudela made eight saves for the shutout for the defending bronze medallists.

Last Meeting

Five months ago, the Canadians and Czechs clashed in preliminary-round play at the 2023 Para Hockey Cup in Quispamsis, New Brunswick. Dominic Cozzolino scored twice in the second period and Anton Jacobs-Webb rounded out the scoring in the third as Canada earned a 3-0 win.

What to Watch

He did get a lot of the headlines, but Tyrone Henry was in the spotlight Sunday night as he played his 100th game with Canada’s National Para Hockey Team. The Ottawa native has long been known for his stalwart defensive play, but he’s been all over the scoresheet through two games; after recording 17 assists across his first 98 games, he had six on the weekend in Calgary, including five in the opening win over Japan on Sautrday. The two-time Paralympian became the 14th player to reach the century mark with Team Canada.

Radek Zelinka leads from the back end for the Czechs; he was named Best Defenceman a year ago in Moose Jaw after scoring three goals to help the Czechs to bronze, and he has three assists through two games in Calgary. Kudela is a workhorse in the Czech goal; he played every second at the 2023 Para Worlds, and has been between the pipes for both games so far in 2024, turning aside 12 of 13 shots in wins over the Italians and Japanese.

A Look Back

Canada is perfect against the Czechs, winning all 16 of their meetings since 2009.

The biggest win came in the prelims at the 2021 Para Worlds on Czech ice in Ostrava, when Tyler McGregor and Zach Lavin contributed hat tricks to a 10-0 Canadian win. McGregor finished with five points in that one, while Billy Bridges chipped in with four assists.

All-time record: Canada leads 16-0
Canada goals: 63
Czechia goals: 4

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Canada wins gold medal at 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship

National Men's Under-18 Team scores three power-play goals in third period to win first world title since 2021

NR.031.24
|
May 05, 2024

ESPOO, Finland – Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team made it a comeback for the ages to win its fifth gold medal—and first since 2021—at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship, beating the United States 6-4 at Metro Areena on Sunday.

Tij Iginla (Lake Country, BC/Kelowna, WHL) buried the game-winning goal at 14:19 of the third period, capping off a stretch of three power-play goals in 3:54 during a five-minute power play. 

Canada was trailing 3-2 midway through the third period when Gavin McKenna (Whitehorse, YT/Medicine Hat, WHL) started the comeback with his second goal of the game, tying it at 3-3. Just over three minutes later, Cole Beaudoin (Kanata, ON/Barrie, OHL) found the back on the net for Canada’s first lead of the game.

McKenna sealed the win, scoring an empty-netter to complete the hat trick with his 10th goal, which set a new record for goals by a Canadian at the tournament. He also finished with 20 points, the most by a Canadian at a single U18 Men’s Worlds.

“Obviously you can’t do it by yourself. I had an unbelievable line and a great team,” McKenna said. “I couldn’t have done it without them, there were so many guys that stepped up when we needed it and it all paid off in the end. There was never a doubt in our room. We have built unbelievable friendships that we’ll have for a lifetime. The U.S. played really well, but with the penalty—the power play is something we practiced all tournament, it came up big today and that was the key to our win.”

The U.S. took the lead with a goal in the final minute of the first period before Ryder Ritchie (Kelowna, BC/Prince Albert, WHL) tied the game with his fourth of the tournament in the middle frame. Canada would trail by two before McKenna found the top corner with a backhand that beat American goaltender Nick Kempf for a power-play goal, cutting the deficit to 3-2.

Carter George (Thunder Bay, ON/Owen Sound, OHL) was a difference-maker again, making one outstanding save after another, including a goal-line save on James Hagens just seconds after McKenna made it a one-goal game. George was named the Best Goaltender by the IIHF directorate following his 31 saves in the gold medal game.

“I have no words for him, Georgie is unbelievable,” McKenna said. “He kept us in it this whole game, honestly. There were times in this tournament where we might not have won, he’s an unbelievable person and player, and the sky is the limit for him.”

“We talk about grit and it being the guts of a team. We had needed a lot of guts just to hang in during the second period,” said head coach Gardiner MacDougall (Bedeque, PE/University of New Brunswick, AUS). “There’s grit, but also resilience and this team showed unbelievable resilience. We also showed initiative (with the score and the power play in the third) and tenacity is just about staying with it. All that shows the grit this group had. If you watched the game, there were times you probably thought there was no hope with this team, but George kept us in it. We pride ourselves that the longer we play, the better we should get, and it all proved true today. That speaks to the character of our group.”

Following the game, George, McKenna and Porter Martone (Peterborough, ON/Mississauga, OHL) were named to the media all-star team.

A full game summary can be found at HockeyCanada.ca.

Canada was undefeated in the tournament, beating Sweden, Czechia, Switzerland and Kazakhstan while outscoring its opponents 31-7 in the preliminary round. It booked its spot in the gold medal game with a 4-0 shutout of Latvia in the quarterfinals and a 5-4 win in the semifinal over Sweden.

Since 2002, Canada has won five gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013, 2021, 2024), in addition to one silver (2005) and four bronze (2012, 2014, 2015, 2023).

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Canada vs. Sweden

Para Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Italy

Sunday, May 5 | 5 p.m. MT | Calgary, Alberta | Preliminary Round

Jason La Rose
|
May 05, 2024

Canada’s National Para Hockey Team is right back to action at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship on Sunday, taking on Italy in the second of its three preliminary-round games at WinSport Arena.

Last Game

Canada flexed its offensive muscle in its tournament opener Saturday, scoring 10 goals in the first period en route to a 19-0 win over Japan. Dominic Cozzolino finished with four goals and four assists, and Adam Dixon, Liam Hickey and Tyler McGregor all had hat tricks for the Canadians, who had their most profilic offensive performance since coming under the Hockey Canada umbrella in 2004.

The Italians closed out Day 1 at WinSport Arena with a 4-1 loss to Czechia. Nils Larch scored the lone goal on a third-period power play, while Sandro Stillitano was terrific in a 28-save effort in the Italian goal.

Last Meeting

The Canadians and Italians last clashed in preliminary-round play at the 2022 Para Hockey Cup in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, an 8-0 win for Canada. James Dunn paced the offence with a hat trick and an assist, while Tyler McGregor netted a pair of goals as the Canadians racked up 48 shots on goal.

What to Watch

How about the top line? Cozzolino, Hickey and McGregor dominated the scoresheet against the Japanese, combining for 10 goals and 22 points – in addition to Cozzolino’s effort mentioned above, Hickey and McGregor each had a hat trick and three assists. Big numbers are nothing new for the trio – McGregor (11-10—21 in 16 GP) and Cozzolino (6-12—18 in 16 GP) were Canada’s top scorers this season, while Hickey (4-2—6 in 11 GP) found his game towards the end of the season after missing almost a year through injury.

Age is just a number for Stillitano. The goaltender – who will celebrate his 55th birthday next month – had another standout performance on the world stage in the opener against the Czechs. A year ago in Moose Jaw, the Italian puck-stopper was named Best Goaltender by the tournament directorate after posting a 2.11 goals-against average and a tournament-best .906 save percentage. The four-time Paralympian is playing in his 11th world championship.

A Look Back

Thirteen games, 13 wins for Canada in the head-to-head history, outscoring the Italians 87-3.

The last meeting at Para Worlds came back in 2017 in South Korea; Hickey and Billy Bridges recorded two goals and two assists in a 7-0 win for the Canadians, who ended that tournament by winning their fourth and most recent world title.

All-time record: Canada leads 13-0
Canada goals: 87
Italy goals: 3

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Canada vs. United States

U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. United States

Sunday, May 5 | 11 a.m. ET | Espoo, Finland | Gold Medal Game

Shannon Coulter
|
May 05, 2024

The gold medal is on the line as Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team takes on its rivals from the United States on Sunday in the finale of the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship.

Last Game

Canada started strong and hung on late, defeating Sweden 5-4 its Saturday semifinal. Liam Greentree, Gavin McKenna, Tij Iginla and Ryder Ritchie scored in the first period and Henry Mews added the game-winner in the second before Canada held off a late push by Sweden. Carter George made 31 saves in another terrific performance between the pipes.

The United States downed Slovakia 7-2 to advance to the gold medal game. Teddy Stiga scored just over three minutes in to get the scoring started, and a three-goal second period for the U.S. blew open a one-goal game. Cole Eiserman and Max Plante scored twice each, with Cole Hutson and Will Skahan rounding out the scoring and Jack Parsons making 22 saves.

Last Meeting

You have to all the way back to the prelimimary-round opener at the 2022 U18 Men’s Worlds for the last time the North American rivals clashed, with the Canadians dropping that game 8-3 to the Americans. Matthew Wood and Mathew Ward briefly tied the game in the second period, while Connor Bedard scored his first of what would be six goals in the tournament. Reid Dyck made 43 saves for the Canadians.

What to Watch

There were a few record-setting (or record-tying) performances by Canadians in the semifinals. With his first-period goal, McKenna set the record for the most points by a Canadians in one U18 Men’s Worlds with 16. Porter Martone’s assist on Mews’ goal set a new career scoring record by a Canadian with 22 points, surpassing Bedard, and also brought him even with McKenna at 16 points in the tournament. George has been fantastic in the Canadian goal as well. In five games, he has a .923 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average (both second among qualified goaltenders, behind American netminder Nicholas Kempf), with two shutouts. All three were named the best players of the tournament for Canada.

James Hagens has been all over the scoresheet for the United States. With three assists in the semifinals, the 17-year-old set the all-time scoring record at a single U18 Men’s Worlds—a record that had been held for 13 years by Nikita Kucherov. In six games in Finland, Hagens has nine goals and 13 helpers.

A Look Back

This is the 18th meeting between the North American rivals at U18 Men’s Worlds, with the record skewing in favour of the U.S.—Canada has just four wins in the first 17 games (two in regulation, one in overtime and one in a shootout).

That said, those two regulation wins have happened in the last six meetings; Laurent Dauphin had a goal and an assist in the 2013 gold medal game as Canada downed the U.S. 3-2 to win its third world title, and Raphaël Lavoie scored twice to help Canada to a 6-4 victory in the tournament opener in 2018.

All-time record: United States leads 13-4-0 (2-2 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 41
United States goals: 79

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Canada vs. Sweden

Para Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Japan

Saturday, May 4 | 5 p.m. MT | Calgary, Alberta | Preliminary Round

Jason La Rose
|
May 04, 2024

Canada’s National Para Hockey Team is set to drop the puck at the 2024 World Para Hockey Championship, welcoming Japan to WinSport Arena on Saturday to get preliminary-round play started in Group B.

Last Game

Canada closed out its brief two-game series against the United States with a 4-1 loss on April 5 on the same Calgary ice that will host Para Worlds. Liam Hickey provided the lone goal for the Canadians, who got 16 saves from Adam Kingsmill in defeat.

Results from the 2023-24 season are scarce for the Japanese, so let’s go back to the 2023 Pool B Para Worlds, when they booked their place in Pool A with an unbeaten run in Astana, Kazakhstan. They capped the tournament with an 8-0 win over Finland in their round-robin finale, getting two goals and two assists from captain Masaharu Kumagai.

Last Meeting

You have to go all the way back to the prelim opener at the 2015 worlds in Buffalo, when Canada romped to its second-biggest victory ever, 17-0. Greg Westlake – who is on the Canadian staff as an assistant coach in Calgary – finished with five goals and three assists, Brad Bowden added three goals and five helpers and Canada scored 12 goals in the opening 15 minutes.

What to Watch

Tyler McGregor loves the big stage. The Canadian captain has led or co-led Canada in scoring at each of the last three world championships – in 2019 (6-7—13), 2021 (8-3—11) and 2023 (4-6—10) – and he finished second to Adam Dixon in 2017 (12-5—17). McGregor comes into Para Worlds needing just three goals to pass Bowden for the third-most in Team Canada history (128).

Kumagai is the offensive star for Japan. He led the way a year ago in Astana with 11 goals and six assists in five games, including a seven-goal, eight-point outing against Great Britain, and his totals don’t include a crucial goal in the shootout against Slovakia, a win that all but clinched a place in Pool A for the Asian side.

A Look Back

Canada has owned the head-to-head history, winning 22 of 23 games and outscoring Japan 164-18.

Remember the note above about the 17-0 win in 2015 being the SECOND-biggest ever? The largest margin of victory for Canada came in 2010 – an 18-0 rout in Rochester, New York. Dixon led the charge with three goals and three assists for the Canadians, who racked up 53 shots on goal.

All-time record: Canada leads 22-1
Canada goals: 164
Japan goals: 18

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Canada vs. Sweden

U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Sweden

Saturday, May 4 | 11 a.m. ET | Espoo, Finland | Semifinal

Shannon Coulter
|
May 04, 2024

A spot in the gold medal game is on the line as Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team travels to Espoo for the first time to face Sweden in the semifinals at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship at Metro Areena.

Last Game

Canada earned its semifinal spot by blanking Latvia 4-0 in its quarterfinal Thursday. Maxim Massé opened the scoring on a power play just over five minutes into the first period, with Ryder Ritchie, Porter Martone and Jett Luchanko rounding out the scoring. Harrison Brunicke and Tij Iginla had two assists each, while Carter George made 23 saves for the shutout.

Sweden defeated host Finland 2-1 to book its spot in the semifinal. Alfons Freij scored 2:40 minutes into the game to put the Swedes up 1-0 early, and Jack Berglund got the game-winner late in the middle frame. Love Härenstam made 21 saves for Sweden.

Last Meeting

Let’s throw it all the way back… 10 days to the beginning of this tournament when Canada kicked off the prelims with a 6-3 victory over Sweden. Luchanko and Malcolm Spence gave the Canadians an early 2-0 lead, Gavin McKenna scored twice in 1:49 apart in the first period, and Matthew Schaefer and Carson Wetsch rounded out the scoring. George stopped 26 shots for the win.

What to Watch

George has been fantastic in the Canadian goal. In four games, he has .936 save percentage and 1.50 goals-against average (both second among qualified goaltenders, behind American netminder Nicholas Kempf), with two shutouts. His showing in Finland continues a strong season: the 17-year-old had a .907 save percentage and 3.30 goals-against average with the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack,, and while representing Canada last summer at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, the Thunder Bay, Ontario, native boasted a .889 save percentage and a 2.26 goals-against average.

Melvin Fernström and Lucas Pettersson have been leading the offence for Sweden, each recording two goals and six points in five games. Fernström had a plus-25 rating with 31 goals and 63 points during the regular season for the Örebro HK U20 team, while Pettersoon was plus-27 with 27 goals and 57 points with MoDo Hockey U20.

A Look Back

Meeting the Swedes at the IIHF U18 World Championship has always meant a tough matchup for Canada. In head-to-head, Canada holds a narrow 12-10 advantage.

It’s the third time in four years the teams will clash in the semifinals. The Swedes had the advantage last year in Switzerland, while Canada rode a Connor Bedard hat trick and four points from Shane Wright to an 8-1 win in 2021 in Texas.

All-time record: Canada leads 12-10 (1-1 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 89
Sweden goals: 70

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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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Schedule
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Oakville, ON
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Prague & Ostrava, Czechia
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Edmonton, Alta., Canada
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