WJC: Match Preview, Day 2


Wednesday is day two of the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship (WJC), taking place at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

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All games are broadcast on RDS and TSN in Canada and on NHL Network in the United States.

Sweden vs Switzerland (2 p.m. ET) – Sweden coach Tomas Monten says his goaltenders, starting with Minnesota Wild’s Jesper Wallstedt, are perhaps the best he’s had in six tournaments behind the bench. The 19-year-old led the Swedish Elite League (SHL) with a 1.98 goals-against average and was fourth with a .918 save percentage in 22 games with Lulea. last season. Sweden are also banking on plenty of depth up front with a group led by Jonathan Lekkerimaki (Vancouver Canucks), who helped Sweden win the 2022 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in six games, a tournament high. Forward Simon Knak (Nashville Predators) and defender Brian Zanetti (Philadelphia Flyers) will have to sound the charge for Switzerland, who will want to do better than their ninth place in the WJC 2021.

Latvia vs Canada (6 p.m. ET) – The tournament hosts play their first game against Latvia, who lost 6-1 to Finland on Tuesday. Coach Dave Cameron has indicated that Sebastian Cossa (Detroit Red Wings) will get the start. Cossa was Canada’s third-ranked goaltender when the tournament opened in December, but has since helped the Edmonton Oil Kings win the Western Hockey League (WHL) championship by signing including five shutouts in 19 playoff games. The spotlight will be on forward Connor Bedard, who is expected to be the first overall pick in the 2023 draft. As a 16-year-old, he had a four-goal game at the tournament in December. He has since turned 17 and ranked fourth in the WHL with 100 points (51 goals, 49 assists) in 62 games with the Regina Pats. He will certainly have the opportunity to show the NHL teams what he can do. Latvia will need more than just 20 shots – like against Finland – if they want the game against Canada to be any close.

Germany vs Austria (10 p.m. ET) – Germany will want to rebound from a 5-1 loss to the United States on Tuesday, when the country took just 11 shots. Austria will be hoping to win for the first time in five WJC appearances in the World Group (0-17). Without Detroit Red Wings forward Marco Kasper, the eighth overall pick in the last draft, Austria will have to look to forward Senna Peeters to generate offense. Peeters scored the Austrians’ only goal at the 2021 WJC. The 20-year-old had 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 34 games with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), last season.


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