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U18 Men’s Worlds Recap – Sweden 8, Canada 0

Canada outshot Sweden 30-24 but dropped its tournament opener to the defending champions

April 20, 2023

GAME STATISTICS | LIVE GAME BLOG

 

PORRENTRUY, Switzerland – Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team opened the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship with a loss to Sweden, falling 8-0 to the defending gold medallists on Thursday.

 

  • Nick Lardis (Oakville, Ont./Hamilton, OHL) led all Canadian skaters with five shots on goal.
  • Colby Barlow (Orillia, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL), Macklin Celebrini (Vancouver, B.C./Chicago, USHL), Andrew Cristall (Burnaby, B.C./Kelowna, WHL) and Lukas Dragicevic (Richmond, B.C./Tri City, WHL) recorded three shots apiece.
  • Gabriel D’Aigle (Sorel-Tracy, Que./Victoriaville, QMJHL) made 14 saves after relieving Carson Bjarnason (Carberry, Man./Brandon, WHL) in the first period.
  • Canada outshot Sweden 30-24, including 21-14 through the final two periods.

 

Next Game:

Canada vs. Germany – Friday, April 21 (8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT)

 

TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners, will broadcast all Team Canada games at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship. Please check local listings for details.

 

Quotes:

“At the start of the game I thought we came out with some pretty good jump, but then we turned over some pucks and missed assignments in our defensive zone which opened up holes for [Sweden]. In the second [period], I thought we were a little bit better, but our discipline has to be better. Two five-minute majors on this international stage against power plays that are really good, so we have to clean that up and be better tomorrow.”

  • Head coach Jeff Truitt (Rosetown, Sask./Prince Albert, WHL) on the team’s performance and discipline

 

“The start was not up to par with what we wanted, but take that away and I thought we had a better second and third period. I think we will grow as the tournament goes on, but we can not afford a start like that and I am confident in our group. The good thing about tournament play is you do not have to wait three or four days for the next game. We are right back at it tomorrow, our guys will show up ready and we have to make an impact in any way we can to get the win.”

            - Cam Allen (Toronto, Ont./Guelph, OHL) on turning the page after a tough opening game

 

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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

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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Canada vs. Latvia

U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Latvia

Thursday, May 2 | 12:45 p.m. ET | Vantaa, Finland | Quarterfinal

Jason LaRose
|
May 02, 2024

It’s on to the playoffs for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, which faces off against Latvia in the last of four quarterfinals on Thursday at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship.

Last Game

Canada closed the preliminary round in style, beating Kazakhstan 11-3 on Tuesday. Gavin McKenna continued his torrid scoring pace, scoring twice and adding four assists, while captain Porter Martone added a goal and four helpers of his own. In all, 10 different Canadians scored goals and 17 of the 19 skaters recorded at least a point.

Latvia wrapped up its prelim schedule Monday with a 5-3 loss to Norway. Daniels Serkins, Martins Klaucans and Darels Uljanskis provided the offence for the Latvians, who trailed 3-0 after the first period and 5-1 after 40 minutes.

Last Meeting

The teams met in preliminary-round action at the 2021 U18 Men’s Worlds, a 4-2 victory for the Canadians. Mason McTavish paced the offence for Canada with two goals and an assist, while Dylan Guenther added a goal and a helper. The Canadians peppered Latvian netminder Karlis Mezsargs with 52 shots and twice had the eastern Europeans pull within a goal, but saw out its second win en route to gold in Texas.

What to Watch

McKenna (6-8—14) and Martone (4-9—13) are in the process of rewriting the Team Canada record book. The duo have basically every major offensive record in sight between them – both all-time and in a single tournament. Martone, who won bronze a year ago as an underager, sits just two points back of Connor Bedard for the all-time scoring lead (21), and his four assists Tuesday moved him past Cody Hodgson and Mathew Barzal for most assists by a Canadian at the tournament (he has 12), and within one of Hodgson’s single-tournament record (10). McKenna is just three goals back of Shane Wright for the single-tournament record (9), and both players are within striking distance of the single-tournament points record of 15, currently held by Tyson Jost (2015) and Macklin Celebrini (2023).

Olivers Murnieks is the second-youngest player on the ice in Finland (Kazakhstan defenceman Svyatoslav Evplov is four weeks younger), but the 15-year-old has been a key cog for the Latvia machine. Only eight forwards are averaging more ice time than Murnieks (who’s at 19:30 per game), and he contributed a goal and two assists in the prelims, scoring in the win over Slovakia that secured the playoff spot for the Latvians. He played 18 games for HK Mogo in the Optibet Hockey League, the top men’s league in Latvia, finishing with 15 points (5-10—15).

A Look Back

Canada has owned the head-to-head history, winning all six meetings by a combined score of 36-12.

The most memorable of those six came in the tournament opener in 2015 in Switzerland, when the teams combined for 17 goals in an 11-6 Canadian win. Jérémy Roy scored a hat trick, Mitchell Stephens had two goals and an assist and Barzal had three helpers for Canada, which erased an early deficit and took control with six unanswered goals in a span of 6:49 in the second period.

All-time record: Canada leads 6-0
Canada goals: 36
Latvia goals: 12

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Canada vs. Kazakhstan

U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Kazakhstan

Tuesday, April 30 | 12 p.m. ET | Vantaa, Finland | Preliminary Round

Jason LaRose
|
April 30, 2024

With first place in Group B secured, Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team has its sights set on finishing a perfect preliminary round when it takes on Kazakhstan on Tuesday at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship.

Last Game

Canada used a record-setting second period to down Switzerland 8-1 on Sunday. After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the Canadians erupted for seven goals in the middle frame, becoming the seventh team in U18 Men’s Worlds history to hit that number in a single period. Porter Martone had two of the seven before finishing his hat trick in the third period, and Gavin McKenna added a goal and two assists.

Kazakhstan made history of its own Monday, getting an overtime goal from Mstislav Shiplin to earn a 4-3 win over Czechia for its first-ever Top Division win at the U18 level. Roman Bolshedvorsky added a goal and an assist for the Kazakhs, who erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to secure the victory.

Last Meeting

You have to go all the way back to 2003, the only other year Kazakhstan was part of the Top Division. In that one, Canada got two goals each from Geoff Platt and Steve Bernier, and three assists from Marc-Antoine Pouliot in an 8-1 win. That tournament, played in Yaroslavl, Russia, ended with Canada winning its first U18 world title.

What to Watch

The name on the back of the jersey is enough to draw attention from even the most casual of Canadian hockey fans, but Tij Iginla has the game to back up the name. The son of Hockey Hall of Famer and two-time Olympic gold medallist Jarome Iginla, Tij has inherited his dad’s goal-scoring touch, potting three goals in as many games in Finland after posting 47 in 64 games with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets. The 17-year-old – ranked as the No. 9 North American skater in the final NHL Central Scouting rankings for the 2024 NHL Draft – can become the third Iginla to win a world title, following his dad and older sister Jade, who helped Canada to gold at the 2022 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.

As is the case most years with a team coming up from Division 1A, the Kazakhstan roster looks nothing like the one that won gold a year in France. The lone returnee is Bolshedvorsky, who went without a point in five games in 2023. The 17-year-old spent this season with Snezhnye Barsy Astana in the MHL, the top Russian junior league, and the goal he scored against the Czechs on Monday was his first of the season – he had four assists in 41 MHL games and two helpers in nine playoff contests.

A Look Back

Not much more to say that hasn’t already been said. Just one, mentioned above, in 2003.

All-time record: Canada leads 1-0
Canada goals: 8
Kazakhstan goals: 1

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U18 Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Sweden

Thursday, April 25 | 12 p.m. ET | Vantaa, Finland | Preliminary Round

Jason La Rose
|
April 25, 2024

The 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship gets underway Thursday in Finland, with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team facing off against Sweden in its preliminary round opener at Vantaa Trio Arena.

Last Game

The Canadians closed out pre-tournament play Tuesday with a 4-3 overtime win over Norway in Vantaa. Matthew Schaefer scored the winner 2:18 into the extra period for Canada, which saw the Norwegians score twice in five second midway through the third period to erase its two-goal lead. Schaefer finished with a goal and an assist, as did Ryder Ritchie.

The Swedes finished their exhibition schedule Monday, getting two goals from Leo Sahlin Wallenius and 26 saves from Love Härenstam to blank Latvia 4-0 in Vierumäki. Jack Berglund and Melvin Fernström rounded out the scoring for Sweden, while Alexander Zetterberg added two assists.

Last Meeting

The international rivals last clashed in the semifinals at U18 Men’s Worlds a year ago, with the Swedes posting a 7-2 victory en route to a silver medal. Macklin Celebrini and Angus MacDonell scored first-period goals for the Canadians, but a four-goal second for the Swedes was the difference.

What to Watch

Porter Martone is no stranger to the Maple Leaf; the Canadian captain has played at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, IIHF U18 World Championship (as an underager) and Hlinka Gretzky Cup over the past 17 months, winning silver, bronze and gold, respectively, while putting up 12 goals and 23 points across 19 games. The Mississauga Steelheads forward registered 71 points (33-38—71) in his second OHL season, and is a name to watch for the 2025 NHL Draft (he’s not eligible this year thanks to his Oct. 25 birthday).

Sahlin Wallenius was the second-ranked Swede on the final NHL Central Scouting rankings for the 2024 NHL Draft, coming seventh among international skaters. He averaged almost a point a game from the blue line with the Växjö Lakers U20 team this season (11-31—42 in 43 GP). Lunis Eriksson also cracked the top 10 from Central Scouting, coming in at No. 10. He spent the majority of the season playing pro with Djurgardens IF, posting 11 points (3-8—11) in 29 HockeyAllsvenskan games.

A Look Back

The head-to-head history between the Canadians and Swedes at the IIHF U18 World Championship is almost right down the middle, with Canada holding a narrow 11-10 advantage.

The most recent wins came at the 2021 worlds in Texas; Shane Wright had a hat trick and Brandt Clarke added two goals and two assists in a 12-1 preliminary-round win, while Connor Bedard scored three and Wright added a goal and three helpers in an 8-1 semifinal triumph.

All-time record: Canada leads 11-10 (1-1 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 83
Sweden goals: 67

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Five players added to Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship

Canada adds five players to U18 worlds roster

April 22, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced the addition of five players to Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship, April 25-May 5, in Espoo and Vantaa, Finland.

Goaltender Jack Ivankovic (Mississauga, ON/Mississauga, OHL), forwards Ollie Josephson (Victoria, BC/Red Deer, WHL) and Maxim Massé (Rimouski, QC/Chicoutimi, QMJHL), and defencemen Frank Marrelli (Markham, ON/Ottawa, OHL) and Henry Mews (Ottawa, ON/Ottawa, OHL) have joined the team.

Josephson, Marrelli, Massé and Mews were members of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team that won a gold medal at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Ivankovic won gold with Team Canada White at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Canada will play its final pre-tournament game against Norway on Tuesday. Canada’s quest for a gold medal begins April 25 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT against Sweden. Canada will also face Czechia on April 26, Switzerland on April 28 and Kazakhstan on April 30 to close out preliminary-round action. The semifinals are set for May 4 before the tournament concludes with the medal games on May 5.

TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners, will air select games, including all Team Canada games and all playoff-round games. Check your local listings for details.

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

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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National Men’s Under-18 Team roster named for 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship

Canada to play two pre-tournament games; opens U18 Worlds against Sweden on April 25

NR.022.24
|
April 16, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced the 19 players selected to wear the Maple Leaf with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team for the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship, April 25-May 5, in Espoo and Vantaa, Finland.

The roster was selected by head scout Byron Bonora (Brooks, AB) and Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON), senior manager of hockey operations. The evaluation process included input from goaltending consultant Justin Pogge (Penticton, BC) and analytics consultant Gianfranco Giuliano (Toronto, ON), in addition to the entire scouting staff.

It includes two goaltenders, six defencemen and 11 forwards, featuring 10 players (Beaudoin, Elick, George, Greentree, Leenders, Martone, McQueen, Ritchie, Spence, Wetsch) who won a gold medal with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup last summer, and one (Martone), who helped Canada win bronze at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship.

“We are excited to bring this calibre of young athletes together to begin working with our coaching staff,” said Roy. “Having players who already know how to compete in a short-term tournament will also bring valuable experience and leadership to our team in our quest for a gold medal.”

Hockey Canada announced the coaching staff for the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship last Thursday, with head coach Gardiner MacDougall (Bedeque, PE/University of New Brunswick, AUS) joined by assistant coaches Travis Crickard (St. John’s, NL/Saint John, QMJHL), Bruce Richardson (Montreal, QC) and Ryan Smith (Headingley, MB/Spokane, WHL).

Prior to the start of the tournament, Canada will play a pair of pre-tournament games against Finland on April 20 and Norway on April 23. The quest for a gold medal begins April 25 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT against Sweden. Canada will also face Czechia on April 26, Switzerland on April 28 and Kazakhstan on April 30 to close out preliminary-round action. The semifinals are set for May 4 before the tournament concludes with the medal games on May 5.

TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners, will air select games, including all Team Canada games and all playoff-round games. Check your local listings for details.

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

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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National Men’s Under-18 team coaching staff named for 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship

Gardiner MacDougall named head coach; Travis Crickard, Bruce Richardson & Ryan Smith to serve as assistants

NR.020.24
|
April 11, 2024

CALGARY, AlbertaHockey Canada has named the coaching staff that will guide Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship, April 25-May 5, in Espoo and Vantaa, Finland .

The winningest coach in Canadian university regular season men’s hockey history, Gardiner MacDougall (Bedeque, PE/University of New Brunswick, AUS) will serve as head coach. He will be joined by assistant coaches Travis Crickard (St. John’s, NL/Saint John, QMJHL), Bruce Richardson (Montreal, QC) and Ryan Smith (Headingley, MB/Spokane, WHL), along with goaltending coach Dan De Palma (Kamloops, BC/Kamloops, WHL).


The coaching staff was selected by Scott Salmond (Creston, BC) , senior vice-president of high performance and hockey operations and Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON),senior manager of hockey operations.

“Gardiner has not only solidified himself as one of the greatest coaches in university hockey history, his record and reputation speaks for itself,” said Salmond. “His nine U SPORTS championships and 2022 Memorial Cup win with Saint John are proof of his ability to win in short-term competition, which will serve us well at the world championship.”

MacDougall led the University of New Brunswick men’s hockey team to a perfect season in 2023-24, going 43-0 in exhibition, regular season and postseason play as the Reds defended their University Cup title. The perfect season included win No. 600 for MacDougall, who was also named U SPORTS coach of the year for the third time (2009-10, 2014-15, 2023-24). He has spent 24 seasons behind the Reds’ bench, leading the team to nine national championships (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2023, 2024). Under his leadership, the Reds have also won 11 Atlantic University Sport (AUS) titles and made 16 national championship appearances. In 2023, he was named head coach for the FISU University Games, leading Team Canada to a gold medal, one season after briefly taking the reins as head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and leading the host team to a Memorial Cup championship.

Crickard recently completed his first season as head coach of the Sea Dogs following one season as an assistant. He was named an assistant coach for Canada’s men’s hockey team at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, finishing fourth, won a gold medal as video coach with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship and was a video coach (2016) and assistant coach (2017) with Canada Black at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, winning a silver medal in 2016.

Richardson was appointed the head coach of the LHJAAAQ’s Valleyfield Braves in January of 2024, following a five-year stint as the head coach of the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (2018-23). He was also head coach of the Châteauguay Grenadiers (2011-14, 2016-18) of the Ligue de développement du hockey M18 AAA du Québec, reaching the gold medal game at the 2014 TELUS Cup, and had a two-year stint as head coach of the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres (2014-16). Internationally, Richardson was an assistant coach with Canada’s men’s hockey team for the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, finishing fourth. He also won a bronze medal with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship, was the head coach of Canada White at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and served as an assistant with Canada Black at the November 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Smith recently finished his second season (2022-24) as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League (WHL) after two seasons (2020-22) as an associate coach. He previously won a silver medal as an assistant coach with Canada Red at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and won silver and bronze as an assistant with Canada West at the 2012 and 2013 World Junior A Hockey Challenges.

De Palma has served as goaltending coach of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers for 14 seasons (2010-2024). Before joining the Blazers, he spent three seasons as goaltending coach with the WHL’s Prince George Cougars. On the international stage, De Palma was the goaltending consultant for Canada Black at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, winning a silver medal.

Dave Brown (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON/Erie, OHL) has also been added to the team staff as Program of Excellence management group representative. Brown has spent nine seasons as general manager of the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) after four (2011-15) as director of hockey operations with the team. He helped lead Erie to an OHL championship in 2017 and contributed to a Canadian Hockey League (CHL) record of four-consecutive 50-win season (2011-15). Brown was named to the POE management group in March 2023, overseeing Canada White’s gold medal at the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Hockey Canada also announced the support staff that will work with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team:

  • Head Scout Byron Bonora (Brooks, AB)
  • Video coach Andrew Boucher (Timmins, ON)
  • Equipment manager A.J. Murley (St. John’s, NL)
  • Athletic therapists Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown, PE) and Jimmy McKnight (Bradford, ON/Edmonton, WHL)
  • Team physician Dr. Michael Conrad (Vancouver, BC/Victoria, WHL)
  • Education consultant Nic Renyard (Victoria, BC)
  • Senior coordinator of hockey operations Jacob Grison (Lion’s Head, ON)

Canada’s quest for a gold medal at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship begins April 25 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT against Sweden. Canada will play Czechia on April 26, Switzerland on April 28 and Kazakhstan on April 30 to close out preliminary-round action. The semifinals are set for May 4 before the tournament concludes with the medal games on May 5.

TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcast partners will broadcast select tournament games, including all Team Canada games and all playoff-round games. Check your local listings for details.

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

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca or follow through social media on Facebook , X and Instagram .

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What is the Hlinka Gretzky Cup?

Take a trip down memory lane and learn more about the 2024 edition of the annual summer U18 tournament before it returns to Edmonton

Jonathan Yue
|
March 25, 2024

The world’s top under-18 players are set to hit the ice and represent their country at the 2024 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Aug. 5-10 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

An annual invitation-only tournament that is the only best-on-best competition at the U18 level, the Hlinka Gretzky Cup serves as the first opportunity for fans and scouts to see that year’s NHL Draft prospects, almost a full year before the draft takes place. This year, it’s the Class of 2025 that has its chance to showcase its skill on the international stage.

At the 2023 NHL Draft, 30% of the players who heard their names called (67 of 224) played at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, including 19 who helped Canada defend its gold medal at the 2022 tournament in Red Deer, Alberta.

The alumni list in Nashville – led by No. 2 pick Leo Carlsson (Anaheim), who helped Sweden to bronze in 2021 – included 20 first-round selections and representation from nine countries in all.

In the past, the tournament has included a who’s-who of Canadian hockey – names like Kariya (1991), Iginla (1994), Thornton (1996), Crosby (2003), Price (2004), Stamkos (2007), MacKinnon (2012), Ekblad (2013) and Lafrenière (2018), to name only a few.

Internationally, alumni include the likes of Alexander Ovechkin (RUS, 2002), Gabriel Landeskog (SWE, 2009), Tomas Plekanec (CZE, 1999), Andre Burakovsky (SWE, 2011-12), Teuvo Teravainen (FIN, 2011), Kirill Kaprizov (RUS, 2014), Mikko Rantanen (FIN, 2013), Johnny Gaudreau (USA, 2010) and a host of others.

The event has been held under a number of different names since the first summer under-18 tournament in 1991 – the Phoenix Cup – in Yokohama and Sapporo, Japan.

It was played for three years in Japan, went to Mexico City in 1994, back to Japan in 1995 and to Nelson and Castlegar, B.C., in 1996 before settling into the Czech Republic and Slovakia beginning in 1997. It alternated between the countries from 1997-2001 before the neighbours co-hosted from 2002-17.

The tournament was known as the Junior World Cup before it was renamed in honour of Ivan Hlinka following the tragic passing of the Czech hockey legend in a car accident in 2004. Hlinka won three IIHF World Championship gold medals as a player before leading the country to Olympic gold as head coach in 1998, among his many accomplishments and accolades.

When the tournament returned to Canada in 2018 (in Edmonton and Red Deer), it was rechristened the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, honouring Hlinka and The Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky.

Entering this year’s tournament as the reigning champions, Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team has long been the dominant force in summer U18 hockey, laying claim to 24 of the 32 gold medals awarded since 1991, including runs of seven (1996-2002) and eight (2008-15) consecutive golds.

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Team Canada player in front of a Swiss goaltender.

Schedule announced for 2024 Hlinka Gretzky Cup

Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team opens against Switzerland; ticket packages now on sale

NR.017.24
|
March 22, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced the 18-game schedule for the 2024 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Aug. 5-10 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

The prestigious international tournament is a partnership with Hockey Alberta, the Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG), the City of Edmonton, Explore Edmonton and the Government of Alberta, showcasing some of the best under-18 players in the world.

“We are extremely excited to bring the Hlinka Gretzky Cup back to Edmonton for the first time in six years, giving fans the opportunity to cheer on the future stars of the NHL,” said Dean McIntosh, senior vice-president of revenue, fan experience and community impact. “This international showcase would not be possible without the support and investment of our event partners and we anticipate an incredible week of hockey in August.”

Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team will be looking for a third-consecutive gold medal, and a record-extending 25th summer U18 gold since 1992. Canada will be joined by Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland in Group A, while Group B is made up of Czechia, Finland, Germany and the United States.

The tournament begins Aug. 5 at 12 p.m. MT with a matchup between Slovakia and Sweden. Canada will close out opening-day action against Switzerland at 7:30 p.m. MT, before facing Slovakia on Aug. 6 and Sweden on Aug. 7 to close out preliminary-round play.

The semifinals are set for Aug. 9, with the bronze medal and gold medal games to follow on Aug. 10 at 1:30 p.m. MT and 6 p.m. MT, respectively.

TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will provide full tournament coverage. 

Ticket packages are now on sale starting at $175. Fans can secure their seats for the 2024 Hlinka Gretzky Cup by visiting HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets.

Hockey Canada is also inviting hockey fans to join the volunteer team. With 125 positions available for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, individuals can apply online by clicking HERE.

For more information on the 2024 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, please visit HlinkaGretzkyCup.ca or follow through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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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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Edmonton, Alta., Canada
Date: Aug 3 to 10