The IIHF World Championship did not get off to a good start for Team Canada. Falling in its first three games of the round robin, the Canadians needed to pull off four-straight victories in order to see success past the qualifying round.
Dropping the tournament-opener with a loss to the host Latvians, the Canadians then fell twice more to the United States and Germany, before finally picking up a 4-2 win over Norway in a must-win scenario on Wednesday. The national team then picked up another tight 4-2 win over Kazakhstan on Friday, before facing off against Italy in the team’s sixth of seven opening round games on Sunday.
Putting up seven goals on the night, while allowing just one, the Canadians steamrolled Italy, en route to the team’s third-straight victory. Turning aside 13 of 14 shots he faced was Canada’s Adin Hill, while his teammates capitalized on seven of their 49 shots on goal.
Connor Brown and Andrew Mangiapane each had four points in the outing, while team captain Adam Henrique collected a goal and two assists. In fact, 11 of Canada’s 20 skaters recorded at least one point on the night.
Yet to really have an offensive explosion, Team Canada did just that on Sunday, with Winnipeg Jets first round draft pick Cole Perfetti getting things going early on, as he scored his second goal of the tournament just 2:33 into the opening frame. Assisted by Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Braden Schneider, Perfetti’s goal was his second in as many periods for the Canadians.
What a Perfectti way to start the game! 🔥
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 30, 2021
Mangiapane, Henrique and Troy Stecher also added first period strikes, giving Canada a commanding 4-0 lead through 20 minutes of play. Angelo Miceli gave Italy its only goal of the game midway through the second period, with Maxime Comtois, Brandon Pirri and Mangiapane adding to the stat sheet later in the game.
Now sitting at an even 3-3 through six games, Canada has suddenly gotten hot and seen itself climb back up the standings. Currently tied with Germany for fourth place, the Canadians take on the 5-1 Finns on Tuesday. In tournament history, Canada has never failed to qualify for the quarterfinal round. That would likely change with a loss on Tuesday.