2024 mwc can fin matchup

Men’s Worlds Preview: Canada vs. Finland

Saturday, May 18 | 10 a.m. ET | Prague, Czechia | Preliminary Round

Jason La Rose
May 18, 2024

Canada’s National Men’s Team gets into the meat of its preliminary-round schedule Saturday, taking on Finland as it begins a three-games-in-four-days stretch against the three teams chasing the Canadians in Group A.

Last Game

Canada made it four wins from as many games Thursday, holding Norway to just six shots on goal – zero in the first two periods – in a 4-1 victory. Brandon Tanev, Andrew Mangiapane, Dylan Cozens and Jared McCann scored the goals, while Nico Daws needed to make just five saves in his first start of the tournament.

The Finns suffered a historic 3-2 loss to Austria in their last time out Thursday, allowing the game-winning goal to Benjamin Baumgartner with just 0.2 seconds remaining. Saku Mäenalainen and Oliver Kapanen scored first-period goals for Finland, which lost to the Austrians for the first time in 11 all-time meetings at Men’s Words.

Last Meeting

The Canadians clashed with the host Finns in the quarterfinals a year ago. In front of a pro-Finland crowd of more than 11,000 at Nokia Arena in Tampere, Canada got goals from Jack Quinn, Sammy Blais and Michael Carcone to grab a 3-0 lead by the early minutes of the third period, and an empty-netter from captain Tyler Toffoli capped a 4-1 victory and sent the Canadians on their way to gold.

What to Watch

He may only be 20 years old with just 26 games of NHL experience, but Olen Zellweger hasn’t looked out of place in Prague. The defenceman has the best points-per-60-minutes average in the entire tournament – he has recorded four assists while playing just over 30 minutes in total across four games (averaging 7:36 of ice time per game). The Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, native, who didn’t make his NHL debut with Anaheim until Jan. 23, is no stranger to putting up numbers – in his final two WHL seasons with Everett and Kamloops, he totalled 158 points (46-112—158) in 110 games and won the Bill Hunter Trophy as WHL defenceman of the year in both seasons.

Kapanen has been the offensive star for the Finns through their first four games, scoring a tournament-leading six goals (one more than Connor Bedard). He had a hat trick in a win over Great Britain, and added two against Norway before striking against Austria. Kapanen, the 20-year-old nephew of former NHLer Sami Kapanen and cousin of St. Louis Blues forward Kaspei Kapanen, is almost halfway to his total from the regular season – he scored 14 times in 51 games with KalPa Kuopio, although he did net seven in just 13 postseason games as KalPa reached the Liiga semifinals.

A Look Back

To say the Canadians and Finns are familiar foes at Men’s Worlds would be a bit of an understatement. Only Sweden (68 GP) has been a more frequent opponent for Canada than Finland, with the teams set to meet for a 55th time in Prague.

The Canadians own victories in 38 of the first 54, including gold medal game matchups in 1994 (4-3 Canada in a shootout), 2007 (4-2 Canada), 2016 (2-0 Canada), 2019 (3-1 Finland), 2021 (3-2 Canada in overtime) and 2022 (4-3 Finland in overtime).

All-time record: Canada leads 38-14-2 (3-3 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 280
Finland goals: 122

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

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