Sunday, May 23 | 1 p.m. ET | Riga, Latvia | Preliminary Round
TV: TSN | TSN Direct
Coming off a disappointing opening-game loss, it’s an opportunity to bounce
Canada’s National Men’s Team resumes its preliminary-round schedule Sunday against the United States at
the 2021 IIHF World Championship.
Canada suffered a rare shutout defeat, firing 38 shots at Latvian
goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks but
dropping a 2-0 decision to the tournament hosts, its first loss in 13 all-time meetings with Latvia. Darcy Kuemper made 15
saves, but the Canadians failed to score a goal for just the seventh time
since NHLers first competed at the tournament in 1977.
The Americans pushed the defending gold medallists in their opener, but
could only manage a power-play goal from Jason Robertson in a 2-1 loss to
Finland. Cal Petersen made 27 saves for the U.S., which outshot the Finns
The North American rivals clashed most recently
in the preliminary-round finale at the 2019 worlds. Goals from Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Turris within the first nine
minutes provided more than enough offence, Jared McCann added a
second-period marker and Matt Murray stopped all 28 shots he faced in a 3-0
Canada finished atop Group A and would depart Slovakia with the silver
medal, while the Americans suffered a narrow 4-3 loss to Russia in the
quarterfinals and finished seventh.
WHAT TO WATCH
Who is going to provide the offence for Canada? Connor Brown is the most
notable NHL sniper, scoring 21 goals in 56 games with the Ottawa Senators
this season, and Justin Danforth netted 23 times with Vityaz Podolsk in the
KHL, but despite 38 shots against the Latvians, there was difficulty
producing quality chances in the offensive end.
Unfamiliarity certainly plays a role – the Canadians had just three
practices before their opener and most of the team has never played
together – but the short-term nature of the IIHF World Championship means
there isn’t much time for fine-tuning.
As usual, a Canada-U.S. game at the worlds means plenty of NHL (and
college) talent, and a handful of teammates going head-to-head on the
Anaheim Ducks – Comtois (CAN), Henrique (CAN), Stolarz (USA)
Arizona Coyotes – Bunting (CAN), Garland (USA), Hill (CAN), Kuemper (CAN)
Buffalo Sabres – Miller (CAN), Thompson (USA)
Calgary Flames – Mackey (USA), Mangiapane (CAN)
Columbus Blue Jackets – Danforth (CAN), Foudy (CAN), Robinson (USA)
Los Angeles Kings – Anderson-Dolan (CAN), Moore (USA), Petersen (USA), Roy
(USA), Vilardi (CAN), Walker (CAN), Wolanin (USA)
San Jose Sharks – Chmelevski (USA), Donato (USA), Ferraro (CAN), Labanc
University of Michigan – Beniers (USA), Power (CAN)
A LOOK BACK
For as big as the rivalry between the neighbours has become at the Olympic
Winter Games and IIHF World Junior Championship in recent years, the
all-time ledger at the IIHF World Championship is tilted significantly in
favour of the Canadians.
Canada has won 41 of the 47 meetings dating back to 1931, and has lost just
two games in regulation time – a 4-3 prelim defeat in 1985 and
a 4-1 setback in the bronze medal game in 2018. That game was the most recent of just four knockout-round match-ups –
Canada downed the U.S. in the quarterfinals in 1995, the U.S. scored a 4-3
overtime win in 2001 and Ryan Ellis scored the winner early in the third
to give Canada a back-and-forth 4-3 victory in the semifinals in 2016.
All-time record: Canada leads 41-6 (U.S. leads 4-1 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 235
United States goals: 92