2022 World Junior Championships Predictions: Austria vs. Canada

2022 World Junior Championship
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The 2022 World Junior Championships continue as we head into day three of the tournament. The first two days had high flying, very offence-oriented games. Tuesday, December 28th has Team Austria facing off against Team Canada in Group A. It’s the second of just two games on deck for the day.

2022 World Junior Championships Predictions

Austria vs. Canada

Going into day three of the 2022 World Junior Championships, both Canada and Austria have played a game each. Team Canada has already claimed a win over Team Czechia 6-3 on the first day, and Team Austria has taken a 7-1 loss to Team Finland. Team Austria, unfortunately, draws yet another strong opponent right after a bad loss in Canada. The matchup is heavily in Canada’s favour going into the game. Canada is the stronger team all-around

Team Austria

Team Austria struggled in their first game against Finland, losing 7-1. During this game, Austria only generated nine shots on goal while allowing 48 shots against. While the team struggled against Finland, goaltender Sebastian Wraneschitz still had a respectable game for what was presented in front of him. Despite allowing seven goals, he still had an 0.854 save percentage in his first game. In the 2021 World Junior Championships, Wraneschitz has shown he can still perform on a weaker team that allows 45+ shots against per game.

Austria does have a few key pieces that could help them against Team Canada, with their offence coming from draft-eligible players Vinzenz Rohrer and Marco Kasper. Canada has a strong defence, forwards and goaltending. If Team Austria is to have a shot they need to see offence generated from these players.

Team Canada

Team Canada has a strong roster as always. With the most recent first overall pick in 2021 in Owen Power and potential first overall picks in 2022 and 2023 in Shane Wright and Connor Bedard, Canada is loaded with star power that will be difficult for Austria to handle. Team Canada is loaded with team-affiliated prospects, such as Cole Perfetti, Mason McTavish, Kaiden Guhle, along with almost the entire rest of the roster. This is something that cannot also be said about Team Austria. Canada’s power play was stellar in the last game as well. They were converting on three of the four opportunities they were presented with. While Canada can’t sustain converting on 75% of their power-play chances, this is an indicator of how strong the team’s offence truly is.

While Dylan Garand had a rough first period against Team Czechia, allowing three goals in the first 20 minutes, Garand has been having a strong season with the Kamloops Blazers in the WHL, posting a 0.932 save percentage through 19 games so far this season.

Prediction

The mismatch is large. Austria has a goaltender that has shown he can face large volumes of shots. This has been shown in both the last game and in 2021 at the World Juniors. However, for them to have a shot they really need Wraneschitz to stand on his head. For Austria to have any opportunity, they also need to see some scoring from their top players. Canada is stronger in just about every facet of the game. While everyone would love to see an underdog story emerge from this tournament, the stars would really need to align for Austria to win. This 2022 World Junior Championship game should decisively be Canada’s.

Prediction: Canada wins 6-1

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