Team Canada Preview: Previewing the gold medal game vs Czechia
Photo credit:Hockey Canada
11 months ago
The 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships have come full circle for Team Canada. On night one, they looked like a group of individuals who were out for a Sunday morning game on shinny on the pond. They were humbled against a Czechia team that they underestimated. Tonight, Canada gets the chance to redeem itself; however, they only get one shot.
Canada’s path to the final looked to be coming to a screeching halt 12 minutes into their semi-final game versus the United States. Logan Cooley and Kenny Connors got the US out to a 2-0 lead while Canada was still trying to get an even-strength shot on goal. The soon-to-be MVP of the tournament, Connor Bedard stepped up for Canada pulling them within one before the period’s end. From there, the Canadians scored five more unanswered goals to which their opponents had no response.
As for the Czechs, they were less than a minute away from heading home to Prague. Sweden held a 1-0 lead for the majority of the game thanks to Ludvig Jansson in the second period. David Jiricek was the first hero for Czech after blasting home a shot to send the game to overtime. Then, in the extra period, Jiri Kulich kept his countries dreams of capturing the gold alive beating Carl Lindbom to send Czechia to the final.
For Canada to win tonight, they have to got to bring that relentless attack. The only game this tournament fans have not seen it was against Czechia in the opener. Since then, Canada has scored 11 goals twice, five goals, four goals, and six goals in a game. It is safe to say they have found their scoring touch.
They have also done a great job of preventing pucks from going in too and that is down to Thomas Milic. Yesterday, Milic put on one of the best performances by a Canadian goaltender we have seen in a while. The Seattle Thunderbirds goaltender made 43 saves to help his country prevail over their bitter rivals. It is amazing that this man has been passed over in the NHL draft TWICE.
The atmosphere tonight in Halifax will be electrifying. The fans out east have helped make this a fantastic World Juniors and now they have one more night to help push the Canadians over the line. My prediction is that Canada comes away with the gold after a 5-2 win over Czechia. There will be no Michigan attempts tonight but Canada will get goals from both Adam Fantili and Connor Bedard. I’ll also put a wager out there that Shane Wright shows up in a big way.
Enjoy the game this evening everybody.
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