2023 mwc may 23 can cze

IIHF Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Czechia

Tuesday, May 23 | 9:20 a.m. ET | Riga, Latvia | Preliminary Round

Jonathan Yue
May 22, 2023

With a place in the quarterfinals secured, Canada’s National Men’s Team is back on the ice at the 2023 IIHF World Championship, looking to close out the preliminary round with a win Tuesday against Czechia.

Last Game

Canada dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to Norway on Monday. Lawson Crouse scored with 12 seconds remaining to tie the game and Milan Lucic also found the back of the net, but Canada lost its second in a row.

Czechia is coming off a 4-2 loss to unbeaten Switzerland on Sunday , in what was a showdown for first place in Group B. Roman Cervenka scored a goal and set up another from Dominik Kubalik, while Marek Langhamer made 23 saves.

Last Meeting

The two teams clashed a year ago in the semifinals, with Canada earning a 6-1 win . Dylan Cozens finished with two goals and an assist, Kent Johnson tallied a goal and a helper, and Drake Batherson added two assists. Chris Driedger turned aside 25 shots for the win as the Canadians scored the game’s final six goals.

What to Watch

How will Canada respond after a pair of losses? On their own, neither provide cause for panic – it lost a close one-goal game to the first-place Swiss and ran into a hot goaltender against the Norwegians – but with just one game left before win-or-go-home hockey begins, the Canadians know they need to get back on track. Of course, a year ago they dropped back-to-back games at the same point in the tournament and ended up in overtime in the gold medal game, and fans remember the infamous 0-3 start at the 2021 tournament in Riga, which finished with Canada’s 27th gold medal. So two losses do not make a tournament.

The duo of Kubalik and Cervenka have been a dynamic one-two punch for Czechia, leading the tournament scoring race with 12 and nine points, respectively. Kubalik’s eight goals also leads all players. In his 10th world championship, the 37-year-old Cervenka is wearing the ‘C’ for the third time and brings a record of success on the international stage, having already won gold at the 2010 world championship and bronze in 2011 and 2022.

A Look Back

Canada and Czechia have been evenly matched through 25 contests at the IIHF World Championship, with the Canadians just edging the Czechs 13-12 (each team has one of its wins in extra time). After a run of eight losses in nine games from 1999 to 2006, the Canadians have won nine of the last 10.

Four of those 25 games have come with a medal on the line, with Canada winning one – way back in 1995, Iain Fraser scored the winner early in the second period as the Canadians claimed bronze with a 4-1 victory.

All-time record: Canada leads 13-12 (1-1 in OT/SO)

Canada goals: 78

Czechia goals: 73

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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