Canada scored three unanswered goals in the first period, including one on the power play, and went on to defeat Sweden 4-3 on Monday in the final exhibition tune-up before Tuesday’s start of the rescheduled 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship at Rogers Place.
Nathan Gaucher, Mason McTavish, Kent Johnson and Joshua Roy scored for the Canadians who led 3-1 after 40 minutes but had to fend off a spirited Sweden comeback in the third period.
Theodor Niederbach, Jonathan Lekkerimaki and William Wallinder scored for Sweden, who lost a 2-1 overtime decision to Finland in an exhibition tilt on Aug. 4. This was Canada’s lone pre-tournament test.
Canada outshot Sweden 30-26 and went 1-for-4 with the man advantage. Sweden went 0-for-5 on the power play.
Dyland Garand started in net for Canada and stopped all 15 shots he faced. He was replaced by Sebastian Cossa at 9:21 of the second period, who stopped eight of 11 shots.
Canada will open its tournament on Wednesday with a game against Latvia, while Sweden opens its tournament against Switzerland, also on Wednesday.
The first attempt at the World Junior Hockey Championship tournament was cut short in December due to the spread of COVID-19. This reboot at Rogers Place has 10 Under-20 teams ready to battle for the coveted medals.
The world juniors, playing all games at Rogers Place, will open Tuesday with three games. Slovakia plays Czechia in the opener, followed by Finland vs. Latvia and Germany vs. the United States.