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Canada imposes itself without forcing | National Teams – Ice Hockey

Canada, 2020 champion after an unlikely reversal of the situation, will once again try to unbolt patiently built teams by fielding a squad created from scratch for the tournament from available players.

As usual, the Maple Leaf Country relied on the players knocked out of the NHL race. Under the orders of Claude Julien, there is thus a workforce that meets four astonishing criteria: 1 – it is the youngest in the tournament (under 25 years old on average); 2 – the squad with the most accumulated NHL games; 3 – it is the tallest (1m90 on average); 4 – it is the heaviest (90 kg). On the speed side, no doubt to have either…

Canada comes for the gold, and therefore begins its construction of alchemy with a country that is a pain in the neck to play: Germany. After a disappointing Olympics, Toni Söderholm’s players dream of a much better performance. In an accessible pool, the quarter-final objective is real. There are plenty of absentees, to be sure, but the presence of Moritz Seider, recent Calder Trophy finalist after a monstrous season with the Detroit Red Wings, and emerging Ottawa star Tim Stützle alone attracts the audience…

Müller and Dubois in a duel. Photo Nicolas Leborgne

Canada controls

The start of the match is balanced. The Canadians rather take the game on their own and the physical challenge is there. The railings are well shaken in the contacts… Germany concedes several shots from the stirring Drake Batherson, and ends up losing with eight minutes. The very young Cole Sillinger, barely nineteen, proves that his season in Columbus was no accident. His precise shot cleans the top corner of Philipp Grubauer (0-1).

Germany reacted to a long shot from Kai Wissman, well captured by Vegas goalkeeper Logan Thompson. Canadians may be tall and heavy, but they skate like rockets. Maxime Comtois launches a counter and Adam Lowry fails to double the bet around the cage: his rebound goes along the line. The skating of the players from across the Atlantic is doing wonders in this third. Germany struggles to get out of neutral in possession of the puck and suffers the aggressive forecheck of the Canadian golgoths.

Marc Michaelis gets the best German chance in the quarter hour, served back to the left circle. Thompson covers his post well. The German public pushes his team, but the chances are rare… and the loss of puck fatal. Pierre-Luc Dubois recovers at the entrance to the zone and fires a full-axis laser in the skylight (0-2). Canada takes the lead without really forcing its talent. His very good forecheck, his response to the physical challenge, his explosive defense / attack transition worked wonders, with 15 shots to only 5.

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High-profile Kent Johnson. Photo Nicolas Leborgne

Vexed, Canada accelerates

Germany started the second period rather well. It takes a very aggressive Logan Thompson to block Daniel Schmolz’s shot on his right, the Nüremberg player having been forgotten in the marking. More lively on the forecheck, the Germans hinder the Canadian recovery, which no longer manages to approach the opposing goal in possession. But there’s hardly a chance either, against the solid Maple Leaf fullbacks.

By dint of stopping to play its game, Canada is being punished. On a puck comeback from Moritz Seider, a shot from the right wing of Leonhard Pföderl hits the boot of Logan Thompson. The rebound returns to the opposite on Marc Michaelis, who manages to adjust his shot despite the movement of the goalkeeper (1-2).

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Annoyed, Claude Julien’s players confiscate the puck and circle around Grubauer’s cage, throwing throws from all angles, without always framing. A pressure that pushes Stefan Loibl to the fault and offers a power play. Canada finds the fault in less than thirty seconds, with a precise movement from left to right, and people in the slot: Dubois offers himself a double, with a lucky rebound on his leg (1-3). The goal will take several minutes to appear on the giant screen…

In the meantime, Tim Stützle is guilty of a high stick. Canada, always very strong in the exercise, camps in numerical superiority. After a double try from Dylan Cozens in cage attack, the disc turns. Dawson Mercer spots on his left wing the presence of lonely Kent Johnson in the opposite circle. His diagonal crosses, and the young NCAA player, who has just started in the NHL in Columbus, controls then shoots Philipp Grubauer (1-4). That makes an abbreviated World Juniors goal, an Olympics goal and a World Championships goal in less than five months for the former University of Michigan player…

Canada unrolls: the puck circulates easily at the top of the zone, Sanheim spreads towards Comtois, who gives between his legs towards Noah Gregor who increases the addition (1-5).

Stunned, Germany lacks lucidity against. Well launched in the axis, Seider has a good line of fire… but looks for an unlikely pass on his right, wasting the best – the only – chance of his team since the goal of Michaelis.

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Adam Lowry and Marc Michaelis. Photo Nicolas Leborgne

Germany takes advantage of Canada’s downturn

After this complicated second third, Germany exploited Canada’s indiscipline from the start. Roy and Lowry out in quick succession, the five-on-three is improved. Matthias Plachta’s volley to the right circle finds its way behind Logan Thompson (2-5).

The start of a comeback? A new Canadian fault is erased by a solid game in inferiority. A few minutes later, Fabio Wagner comes out in turn and the superiority is reversed. Damon Severson leads the play, but misses his shot from the blue. Kent Johnson is more precise, and Grubauer intervenes.

Canada’s long presences, like an endless movement of pucks from the Johnson line, remain sterile: there will be only three shots on target in twenty minutes. On a rare German attack, Thompson has to stretch the pad and a delayed penalty is called against Josh Anderson…and a second against Morgan Geekie. The five-against-three takes time to settle and lacks precision in passing. Severson, Graves and Lowry hold the shock for almost the entire two minutes… before Thompson, masked, is beaten in the skylight by Moritz Seider (3-5).

Enough to make the end of the match interesting… Stützle gets busy with a spectacular slalom, without shooting however. But his team takes possession of the puck and pushes Canada back on its cage. Only the Johnson-Mercer-Batherson trio manages to impose its pressing in the German zone. Claude Julien’s players are content to defend access to their area and seek counterattacks. The minutes pass without danger on the goal of Logan Thompson. The German timeout at the end of the match and the exit of Grubauer did not change anything.

Canada therefore succeeds in its entry, without really forcing its talent. By playing on alternating current, with unplayable high points and marked low points, Claude Julien’s players have above all shown that they still need time to consolidate their scheme and their automatisms. But the potential is real… Germany got away with an honorable score, and hopes for the future. The quarter-final objective will be played against other teams.

Named players of the match: Tim Stützle (Germany) and Pierre-Luc Dubois (Canada)

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Dylan Cozens dueling. Photo Nicolas Leborgne

Germany – Canada 3-5 (0-2, 1-3, 2-0)
Friday May 13, 2022, 8:20 p.m. Helsinki Ice Hall, 4632 spectators.
Referees: Andris Ansons (LET) and Robin Sir (TCH) assisted by Jake Davis (USA) and Josef Spur (TCH)
Penalties: Germany 6′ (0′, 4′, 2′), Canada 8′ (0′, 0′, 8′)
Shots: Germany 21 (5, 8, 8), Canada 27 (13, 11, 3)

Score summary:
0-1 at 08’06: Sillinger assisted by Anderson and Lowry
0-2 at 17’22: Dubois
1-2 at 27’24: Michaelis assisted by Seider and Pföderl
1-3 at 31’37: Dubois assisted by Roy and Batherson (num. sup.)
1-4 at 33’29: Johnson assisted by Mercer and Chabot (num. sup.)
1-5 at 37’35: Gregor assisted by Comtois and Sanheim
2-5 at 41’13: Plachta assisted by Stützle and Seider (double sup. num.)
3-5 at 52’35: Seider assisted by Stützle and Pföderl (double numerical sup.)

Germany

Forwards:
Matthias Plachta (-1) – Tim Stützle (2′, -1) – Yasin Ehliz (-1)
Leonhard Pföderl – Marc Michaelis – Marcel Noebels (A)
Daniel Schmolz – Setfan Loibl – Daniel Fischbuch
Samuel Soramies (2′) – Maximilian Kastner (-2) – Alexander Ehl (-1)

Defenders:
Moritz Seider (+1) – Moritz Muller (C, +1)
Korbinian Holzer (A, -2) – Jonas Müller
Kai Wissman (-1) – Fabio Wagner (2′, -1)
Dominik Bittner (-2)

Guardian :
Philipp Grubauer

Substitute: Mathias Niederberger (L)

Canada

Forwards:
Dylan Cozens (+1) – Pierre-Luc Dubois (A, +1) – Nicolas Roy (2′, +1)
Cole Sillinger (+1) – Adam Lowry (2′, +1) – Josh Anderson (A, 2′, +1)
Kent Johnson (-1) – Dawson Mercer (-1) – Drake Batherson (-1)
Maxime Comtois (+1) – Morgan Geekie (2′, +1) – Noah Gregor (+1)

Defenders:
Zach Whitecloud (+1) – Thomas Chabot (C, +1)
Travis Sanheim (+1) – Damon Severson
Nick Holden – Ryan Graves (+1)
Dysin Mayo

Guardian :
Logan Thompson

Substitute: Chris Driedger (G)

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