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
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
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.
WHAT TO WATCH
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
A LOOK BACK
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
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
All-time record: Canada leads 7-0-1
Canada goals: 36
Finland goals: 11