2022  m w c  preview  c a n  s l o

Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Slovakia

Monday, May 16 | 9:20 a.m. ET | Helsinki, Finland | Preliminary Round

May 15, 2022
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TV: TSN | Stream: TSN Direct

Canada’s National Men’s Team has a chance to improve to 3-0 at the 2022 IIHF World Championship – a complete reversal from its start a year ago – when it faces Slovakia as Group A play continues at the Helsinki Ice Hall.

LAST GAME

Canada started slow in its 6-1 win over Italy on Sunday morning, allowing the opening goal 13 minutes in. But Travis Sanheim equalized before the end of the first period, and Josh Anderson, Nicolas Roy and Kent Johnson added goals in the second to put Canada in control. Dysin Mayo and Noah Gregor – on a terrific shorthanded effort – rounded out the scoring in the third, and Chris Driedger made 11 saves in his international debut.

Slovakia opened up its tournament on Saturday with a 2-1 loss to Germany. All the scoring came in a busy second period, with Kristian Pospisil counting for the Slovaks after Matthias Plachta and Leonhard Pfoderl scored for the Germans. Patrik Rybar made 14 saves for Slovakia, which had a 29-16 edge in shots on goal.

LAST MEETING

Going back to the 2019 worlds in Slovakia, Canada met the hosts in the preliminary round – a 6-5 barnburner that ended in Canada’s favour. The Slovaks scored the first two goals, only for Anthony Mantha and Shea Theodore to equalize before the end of the opening frame. The Slovaks again struck for two early in the second period, but Jonathan Marchessault, Anthony Cirelli and Troy Stecher put the Canadians ahead 5-4 after two. Matus Sukel tied it for Slovakia with 8:15 left, setting the stage for Mark Stone’s power-play goal with 1.8 seconds left – on his birthday – to give Canada a wild win.

WHAT TO WATCH

With the Canadians having been in Europe for only a week (and some less than that), a 12:20 local time puck drop (5:20 a.m. ET), likely played into a slower start against the Italians. With another early start on tap against Slovakia, they’ll look to avoid the same thing. The good news? Canada has scored 11 goals in two games, from eight different players. That’s good production and, more importantly in short-term competition, good depth.

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of its lone world title in 2002, the Slovaks aren’t the contenders they used to be – they haven’t finished better than eighth since a run to the gold medal game in 2012, and that’s their lone appearance in the semifinals since 2004. They outshot the Germans but could only muster a single goal, and need to figure out where the offence is coming from if they hope to make some noise in Finland.

A LOOK BACK

Canada and Slovakia have played 15 times at worlds since 1996, and while the all-time record is heavily in Canada’s favour, the majority of the games have only been decided by one goal – nine of 15, in fact.

The largest margin of victory for the Canadians came in 2016, a 5-0 win in the preliminary round. Cam Talbot made 18 saves for the shutout while the scoring was balanced with five different Canadians finding the back of the net – Morgan Rielly, Matt Duchene, Taylor Hall, Mark Scheifele and Derick Brassard.

All-time record: Canada leads 11-2-2
Canada goals: 58
Slovakia goals: 38

For more information:

Dominick Saillant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
514-895-9706
dsaillant@hockeycanada.ca

 

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
emadziya@hockeycanada.ca

 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
ssharkey@hockeycanada.ca

 

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