TV: TSN | Stream: TSN Direct
Canada’s National Men’s Team
hasn’t started 4-0 at the IIHF World Championship since 2017, but has an
opportunity to do as preliminary-round play in Group A continues Thursday
In its biggest test so far, Canada prevailed
5-1 over Slovakia
on Monday. Adam Lowry opened the scoring at the midway mark of the opening
period, but the Slovaks responded just over two minutes later on a power
play. The momentum shifted a little in Canada’s favour in the second,
putting up 18 shots and two more goals (both from Pierre-Luc Dubois). Cole
Sillinger and Morgan Geekie each added a goal in the final frame.
Kazakhstan went into its Tuesday morning meeting with Switzerland one of
two teams still without a point, and it remained that way following
a 3-2 loss. The Kazakhs were outshot 43-14 but made things interesting in the third
period, getting goals from Jesse Blacker and Valeri Orekhov.
The Kazakhs were part of the Canadian comeback a year ago in Riga; Canada
improved its record to 2-3 in the prelims with
a 4-2 win, Andrew Mangiapane and Adam Henrique gave the Canadians a two-goal lead
early in the second period, but Kazakhstan equalized early in the third.
Cole Perfetti provided the game-winner with 12:20 left, and Connor Brown
found the empty net in the dying seconds to secure the three points.
WHAT TO WATCH
Logan Thompson’s performance in his first international tournament has been
impressive, raking third in save percentage (.929) through two appearances.
Team chemistry is clearly on the rise, with Canada leading the tournament
in scoring efficiency and posting the best power play as of the end of play
on Tuesday. Dubois is among the scoring leaders, co-leading in goals scored
(four) and tied for third in points (five).
Simply put, the Kazakhs have struggled. They rank 16th among 16 teams in
scoring efficiency (four goals on 67 shots), 16th in power play (0 for 6),
16th in penalty kill (five PP goals against in 11 chances) and 15th in save
percentage (.864). They do, however, lead the tournament in shorthanded
goals, scoring two of their four goals while a man down.
A LOOK BACK
Canada and Kazakhstan have only played twice at worlds, including the game
last year, as mentioned above.
The only other meeting was 10 years ago,
an 8-0 win for Canada. Dion Phaneuf scored twice, Corey Perry had a goal and an assist, and
Duncan Keith and Ryan Getzlaf had three helpers apiece for Canada, which
scored five times in the third period. Devan Dubnyk stopped all 24 shots he
faced for the shutout.
All-time record: Canada leads 2-0
Canada goals: 12
Kazakhstan goals: 2