For the fourth-straight tournament,
Canada’s National Men’s Team
will play in the gold medal game at the IIHF World Championship; it will
face Germany on Sunday in Tampere, in search of its 28th world title.
Canada came from behind to earn a
4-2 victory over Latvia
in its semifinal Saturday. Jack Quinn, Adam Fantilli and Scott Laughton
scored third-period goals to complete the comeback, and Sam Montembeault
made 20 saves to earn his fifth win.
Germany posted a thrilling
4-3 overtime victory over the United States
on Saturday to qualify for the final. Frederik Tiffels was the overtime
hero, scoring his second of the game at 7:32 of the extra period after
Marcel Noebels tied it with 1:23 left and goaltender Mathias Niederberger on
the bench for an extra attacker. Niederberger finished with 30 saves,
including six in overtime.
Canada and Germany met last year in the prelim opener in Helsinki, with the
Canadians downing the Germans by a score of 5-3
. Pierre-Luc Dubois finished with a pair of goals and Kent Johnson scored
the game-winner. Logan Thompson turned aside 18 of 21 shots for his
first career Team Canada win.
What to Watch
Canada was down two of its key penalty killers in Joe Veleno (suspension)
and Ethan Bear (injury) for the semifinals, but that wasn’t an issue as the
Canadians killed off all six Latvia power plays, improving its penalty kill
to 93.1% (good for second in the tournament). The PK unit will need to be
good again in the final; the Germans have scored six power-play goals in the
tournament and are clicking at a 25% success rate.
The Germans entered the knockout round as the eighth-ranked team out of
eight quarterfinalists after going 4-0-0-3 in preliminary round. But none of
that matters now. First, they knocked out first-place Switzerland with a 3-1
win in the quarters before handing the United States its first loss of the
tournament in the semis. J.J. Peterka has led the Germans offensively,
collecting 11 points (5-6—11) to rank third in the tournament scoring race.
In the crease, Niederberger has played all but one game, entering the gold
medal game with a 1.98 goals-against-average and .910 save percentage, while
making the third most saves (163) – 59 of which have come in the playoffs.
A Look Back
Canada holds a big lead in the head-to-head history, winning 21 of 24
meetings (with two ties) and outscoring the Germans 111-33.
It has been 93 years since the Canadians and Germans met for gold at the
IIHF Worlds; at the 1930 tournament – the first time the event was held
apart from the Olympic Games – Canada (represented by the Toronto CCMs)
downed the host Germans 6-1 in Berlin to claim its fourth-straight gold.
All-time record: Canada leads 21-1-2 (2-0 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 111
Germany goals: 33