2021 u18wc apr 28 can lat

U18 Worlds Recap: Canada 4, Latvia 2

A pair of goals from Mason McTavish helped Canada see off a resilient Latvian side to stay perfect in Group A

Jamie Umbach
April 28, 2021


PLANO, Texas – After comfortably putting 12 goals past Sweden the night prior, Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team wasn’t treated to the same experience against Latvia on Wednesday.

The team in burgundy and white was resilient all night, but 52 shots and a pair of goals from Mason McTavish (Carp, Ont./Peterborough, OHL) were enough to help see Canada through to a 4-2 victory and improve to 2-0 in Group A action at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship.

Don’t let the shot-clock fool you. Despite nearly doubling up their opponent on shot attempts, Latvia always looked within striking distance.

Karlis Mezsargs did all he could in the Latvian net, making 48 stops, but Benjamin Gaudreau (Corbeil, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) was equal to the task in Canada’s crease by making a number of timely stops as part of a 25-save effort to keep Latvia on the losing end.

A backhand snipe from Sandis Vilmanis made for a nervy finish in the third, but a late too-many-players call against the Latvians awarded McTavish the opportunity to put the game on ice with 43 seconds remaining.

Late scratches to captain Shane Wright (Burlington, Ont./Kingston, OHL) and Corson Ceulemans (Beaumont, Alta./Brooks, AJHL) before the match meant Canada would need contributions without two key pieces.

A penalty-laden first period saw both sides struggle on the power play, with an early 5-on-3 opportunity for Canada stamped out by a resilient Latvian penalty kill.

Canada went 2-for-9 on the power play, while Latvia was able to capitalize once on their eight opportunities with the man advantage.

Logan Stankoven (Kamloops, B.C./Kamloops, WHL) broke the deadlock following a scoreless first period on a wrist shot from the left circle that slid under traffic in front and through the five-hole of Mezsargs for a power-play goal 7:58 into the second frame.

McTavish doubled Canada’s lead just 2:03 later, but there would be a Latvian response in the closing moments of the period when Anri Ravinskis pulled one back with 42 seconds on the clock.

Dylan Guenther (Edmonton, Alta./Edmonton, WHL) restored the two-goal gap on a cross-ice feed from McTavish, but Latvia wasn’t about to go away quietly.

Vilmanis’ put a perfect backhand over Gaudreau’s left shoulder with 6:33 left in the contest, but despite late pressure and 15 shots in the final frame, a late infraction and McTavish’s third goal of the tournament with less than a minute left put an end to any hopes for a hard-fought comeback story.

After taking stock during a day off from competition Thursday, Canada will be back in Group A action Friday night when it entertains Switzerland (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

For more information:

Dominick Saillant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
[email protected]


Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
[email protected]


Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
[email protected]


2021 U18WC: CAN 8 – SWE 1 (Semifinal)
Bedard finished with 2G 3A to send Canada into the semifinals.
2021 U18WC: CAN 10 – CZE 3 (Quarterfinal)
Bedard finished with 2G 3A to send Canada into the semifinals.
2021 U18WC: CAN 5 – BLR 2 (Preliminary)
Wright and McTavish scored 2G each to help Canada finish perfect.
2021 U18WC: CAN 7 – SUI 0 (Preliminary)
Pinelli had a hat trick and Milic made 11 saves to blank the Swiss.