World Juniors Preview: Canada closes preliminary round against Germany

Photo credit:Hockey Canada
Zach Laing
5 months ago
What was a strong start for Team Canada fell off the rails Friday night, as they fell 2-0 to Sweden.
It was on the back of back-to-back wins for the Canadians, who topped Finland 5-2 in their opening game on Boxing Day, and downing Latvia 10-0 a day prior.
The game against Sweden had all the markings of a battle that lived up to the hype, as the home team was able to gain a strong foothold with their shutout. Goaltending was a huge story in the game, as Swedish netminder Hugo Havelid turned aside all 21 of the shots he faced, while Mathis Rousseau stopped 21 of 23.
Most notably, it canned any hope Canada may have had at winning the top spot in Group A, and potentially resting some players against Germany today.

Team Canada vs. Team Germany

Time: 11:30 AM MT
Location: Scandianavium, Sweden
Television: TSN

Team Canada’s Roster…

  • Scott Ratzlaff (G)
  • Mathis Rousseau (G)
  • Samuel St-Hilaire (G)
  • Oliver Bonk (D)
  • Jake Furlong (D)
  • Maveric Lamoureux (D)
  • Denton Mateychuk (D)
  • Ty Nelson (D)
  • Noah Warren (D)
  • Owen Allard (C)
  • Owen Beck (C)
  • Macklin Celebrini (C/W)
  • Easton Cowan (C/W)
  • Nate Danielson (C)
  • Jordan Dumais (RW)
  • Conor Geekie (C)
  • Fraser Minten (C)
  • Matthew Poitras (C)
  • Carson Rehkopf (C/LW)
  • Matthew Savoie (C)
  • Matthew Wood (LW/C)
  • Brayden Yager (C)
  • Jagger Firkus (RW)

Canada’s offence needs to show

“Canada needs its stars to show up. Fraser Minten, who started the year with the Maple Leafs, has just one goal and two points. Jordan Dumais – the CHL whizkid coming off a 140-point campaign in the QMJHL – has just one assist. Matthew Savoie has had his chances, with just one assist to show for. Brayden Yager was invisible against the Finns and had just one shot against Sweden. Macklin Celebrini is the clear No. 1, leading the way with six points in three games.
Nobody else has more than three, with two of the team’s depth players – Carson Rehkopf and Owen Allard – being among the five two-goal scorers. Nobody else has more.
Speaking of Rehkopf, what does he have to do to get more playing time? He’s on pace for a 65-goal season with Kitchener. Rehkopf scored twice in the drubbing over Latvia, but played just 4:50 against Sweden. He started as the 13th forward, and fought his way onto the fourth line, but coach Alan Letang needs to see what he can do higher in the lineup.
And Letang deserves some blame here. The lines felt off from the get-go. For example, Minten and Cowan are playing two-way roles on scoring lines, and it’s not working. Letang should have stacked that top six earlier than they did. Give Celebrini shooters to work with – reunite the U-18 World Championship scoring duo of Celebrini and Matthew Wood, and maybe add Rehkopf as the third option. Celebrini has played with both separately, but I’d almost guarantee they’d be the team’s most dangerous line if put together for a game.
I suppose it is the perils of having one of the deepest player pools to choose from. No matter the year, you’ll have fans screaming for a national summit with every world junior loss. At least Mathis Rousseau’s goaltending has been solid, because that was a serious question mark during the pre-tournament.”

Team Germany’s Roster

  • Daniel Assavolyuk (F)
  • Kevin Bicker (F)
  • Linus Brandl (C)
  • Moritz Elias (F)
  • Luca Hauf (RW/C)
  • Eric Hördler (F)
  • Roman Kechter (F)
  • Julian Lutz (LW)  “A”
  • Lennard Nieleck (C/RW)
  • Veit Oswald (F)  “A”
  • Ralf Rollinger (F)
  • Vadim Schreiner (F)
  • Julius Sumpf (C)
  • Niklas Hübner (D)
  • Paul Mayer (D)
  • Norwin Panocha (D)
  • Michael Reich (D/F)
  • Samuel Schindler (D)
  • Phillip Sinn (D/F)  “C”
  • Jakob Weber (D)
  • Matthias Bittner (G)
  • Philipp Dietl (G)
  • Nico Pertuch (G)

Getting to know Team Germany…

“It’s been an exciting few years for German ice hockey.
Between just missing out on gold at the 2018 Olympics, the rise of some high-end NHL talent and silver at the 2023 World Championship, the Germans have established themselves as a team to watch internationally.
And that goes for their junior national team, too. They’ve avoided relegation the past four years, including consecutive sixth-place finishes in Edmonton in 2021 and 2022. They have never round a quarterfinal matchup, but after spending four years in Division IA, including almost getting demoted to Division IB in 2016, this the type of consistency a developing program needs.
But it’s not going to be easy this year. There’s an argument to be made that they’re a step behind Latvia, and maybe even Norway. That might hurt in the race to stay alive for 2025, and if we learned anything about their 2005-born group from the U-18 World Championship last year, it’s not going to be easy if they manage to stay up, anyway.
But you just never know. There are a few notable names that could keep things spicy for the Germans, but they’ll need to really step up if they’re going to advance to the quarterfinal for the fourth straight year.”
Steven Ellis, Daily Faceoff


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GAME DAY PREDICTION: Canada takes care of business with a 5-2 win.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: With two goals and six points through Canada’s first three games, Macklin Celebrini continues to shine with a three-point performance.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Germany, who has already secured a win against Finland in the tournament, keeps it a one-score game through the first period.


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