Canada suffers 1st loss at world juniors in shutout at fingers of host Sweden

Hugo Havelid made 21 saves in Sweden’s 2-0 victory over Canada on the world junior hockey championship on Friday.

Tom Willander and Noah Ostlund scored for the event hosts, who clinched prime spot in Group A with a trio of shutouts. Theo Lindstein had two assists.

Mathis Rousseau made 22 stops in his third straight begin for Canada, which sits second within the pool after profitable its first two contests on the under-20 occasion.

The Canadians need to seize a 3rd straight gold medal minus a boatload of NHL expertise — together with the record-breaking Connor Bedard — whereas Sweden hasn’t received since 2012.

Canada beat Finland 5-2 on Tuesday and Latvia 10-0 on Wednesday. Sweden topped Latvia 6-0 on Tuesday earlier than additionally shutting out Germany 5-0 on Thursday.

Sweden opened the scoring 1:53 into the second interval after Matthew Poitras, who joined Canada from the Boston Bruins, could not clear the defensive zone. The puck made its approach to Willander, a Vancouver Canucks draft decide, and he fired previous Rousseau with defenceman Noah Warren screening his goaltender.

Handed over within the final two NHL drafts, Rousseau did his greatest to maintain the Canadians down one with a few enormous stops, together with one on Jonathan Lekkerimaki — one other Vancouver prospect.

However Lekkerimaki stored the puck in on the offensive blue line on the identical sequence and took a shot that Rousseau could not squeeze earlier than Ostlund slid the rebound residence at 10:39.

Canada, which beat Sweden 5-1 on New Yr’s Eve on the 2023 event in Halifax when Bedard had 4 assists, shook up its ahead strains in search of a spark.

Matthew Savoie moved in on a breakaway solely to lose the puck earlier than Macklin Celebrini, who entered because the event’s scoring chief after placing up a aim and 4 assists in opposition to Latvia, was stopped on a one-timer within the dying seconds of the interval.

Canada obtained its first energy play eight minutes into the third, however Celebrini hit the put up earlier than Havelid stopped Fraser Minten.

Owen Beck — the one returnee from final yr — was crunched into the boards by Sweden’s Zeb Forsfjall and stayed down earlier than briefly heading to the locker room. The officers initially referred to as a penalty, however overturned the decision following video overview.

Additional-man struggles

Canada obtained one other energy play with beneath six minutes remaining in regulation, however the disjointed No. 1 unit once more could not discover the vary.

The North Individuals had been subsequently whistled for a botched goalie pull that ended up in a penalty for too many gamers on the ice that sealed Sweden’s win.

Someplace within the neighbourhood of three,500 Canadians have made the trek to this metropolis on Sweden’s west coast for the annual showcase, however the red-clad contingent was a loud minority inside an electrical Scandinavium area Friday.

A bodily first noticed the groups commerce early possibilities, together with a breakaway for Canada’s Carson Rehkopf.

Minten was assessed a double minor for high-sticking, however the penalty kill and Rousseau held agency, together with an impressive toe save from the goaltender on Liam Ohgren that impressed Swedish legend Henrik Lundqvist within the stands.

Sweden thumped Canada — Celebrini and thirteenth ahead Matthew Wooden had been on that roster — twice on the under-18 world championships again in April, together with an 8-0 demolition within the remaining. 9 of the Swedes from that crew dressed Friday.

Canada meets Germany in its remaining group sport Sunday, whereas Sweden takes on rival Finland.

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