Team Canada is rolling along at the 2022 World Junior Championships. The hosts look to be in a class with the United States as the best of the tournament. This is including not having top players such as Shane Wright and Owen Power. The Canadians are coming off an 11-1 thumping of Slovakia.
Team Czechia is trying to rebound from a 4-3 loss to Finland in their last outing. The Czechs are trying to keep pace in Group A, but know it will be a tall order to stop Canada. These two teams did play back on Boxing Day, with Canada rallying to win 6-3.
2022 World Junior Championship
Canada vs Czechia
Mason McTavish tied a Canadian record with four goals in the rout of the Slovaks. Canada still looks like a juggernaut despite all the outside noise surrounding the team. New York Rangers prospect Brennan Othmann added a goal and two assists for Canada. Fellow Rangers prospect Dylan Garand made 24 saves for the hosts.
#WorldJuniors GAME DAY:
Austria 🇦🇹 🆚 USA 🇺🇸: 2pm et on TSN5
Czechia 🇨🇿 🆚 Canada 🇨🇦: 6pm et on TSN5
Switzerland 🇨🇭 🆚 Germany 🇩🇪: 10pm et on TSN5
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) August 13, 2022
Canada has an impressive 16-3 goal differential and all phases of the game are going well. The hosts also have the luxury of not having to play back-to-back games in the rest of pool play. Canada is a very solid team, but they’ll be wary of a good Czech squad.
Player to Watch
McTavish has been on a role so far this tournament. The Anaheim Ducks prospect and Connor Bedard have formed a nice partnership for Team Canada. McTavish will look to expand his lead in the tournament’s goal-scoring charts.
The Czechs lost in the shootout to the Finns in the last game. Montreal Canadiens prospect and team captain Jan Mysak’s goal forced overtime. Mysak is tied for second in goals with three goals so far. Jan Bednar made 28 saves for the Czechs and got them the overtime point.
The Czechs did get an early lead in the Dec. version of the tournament before the Canadians eventually took over. Mysak is a very good player and can make life miserable for the hosts. This team is going to play hard as it can to avoid fourth place and a date with the Americans in the quarterfinals.
Player to watch
Mysak is the heart and soul of this Czech team and his great play is a positive sign for the Habs. He’s easily the best player on this squad and he’ll need to have a big game. The Czechs go as he goes. Czechia’s defence will also have to step up and give their playmakers a chance. They’ll need the game to be a rock fight because Canada will win a wide-open game.
The game should be a little tougher for the hosts than the Slovakia matchup. However, the deep Canadian squad has plenty of depth and can roll four scoring lines. It also has dept in goal and on defence.
Czechia will need to slow down the pace and take advantage of any power-play chances it gets. They also need to stay out of the box and avoid Canada’s potent power play.
Prediction: Canada wins 5-2.