Canada vs. Sweden. Tavares vs. Hedman. The Magic Starts Tonight at 7:30PM EST
Canada will start Dustin Tokarski (5'11" 185lbs)who has let in 9 goals in his last 2 starts. The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect hopes to continue his winning streak but will require Thomas Hickey and Colten Teubert to step up their game in the defensive zone.
Sweden has called upon Jacob Markstrom (6'3" 180) and will look for Hedman to lead the way for their defense core.
Sweden plays as a team and not as individuals. Their highest scoring player in the tournament is Ottawa Senators prospect, Erik Karlsson - a gritty offensive defenseman with 2 goals and 9 points. Sweden looks to capture Gold for the second time in their WJHC history.
Zach Boychuk missed yesterday's practice but it was considered a "precautionary decision" and will join the club for tonight's game. Tyler Myers is also playing through a bit of a knee injury after blocking a shot against Russia.
John Tavares looks to break the record of most goals for Canadian player in the history of the tournament. He currently has scored 12 goals in 12 games.
It's the Strive for Five and we're only 10 minutes away from the puck drop.
Canada is expected to start Tavares, Esposito and DiDomenico for the opening faceoff. Evander Kane is looking to continue his strong play against Sweden. Kane was one of the better forwards for Canada in the game against Russia.
Both teams are slightly injury plagued but they also show a lot of heart. With all of their troops biting the bullet and playing through the pain, it's no wonder why it has all come down to Sweden and Canada. Simply put: they wanted it more.
Canada's top point producers:
Tavares - 8G 6A 14P
Hodgson - 3G 10A 13P
Eberle - 5G 5A 10P
Puck drop is less than 5 minutes away. You can cut through the tension with a knife.
Russia took home the Bronze Medal earlier today with a 5-2 win over Slovakia. Regardless of the loss, Slovakia should be pleased to have succeeded as far as they have.
Dustin Tokarski SV% 0.870
Jacob MArkstrom SV% 0.954
Opening faceoff, Backlund wins the draw against John Tavares. Quickly turns into an icing.
Angelo Esposito comes out hitting and forces a turnover. It quickly turns into a great opportunity for Canada.
PENALTY SWEDEN - ROUGHING :22
Subban feeds it downlow to Eberle, a scramble ensues and Subban jumps down low to make it 1-0 for Canada on the PP :39
This is exactly the start the Canadians wanted. They jumped on Sweden early, drew a penalty and immediately put their strong PP to work.
Hodgson, Eberle and Boychuk step to the ice. Sbban forces another turnover in Canada's defensive zone and allows Eberle and Boychuk to get a good opportunity on Markstrom, but the Swedish goaltender shuts the door.
Kane, Cormier and Della Rovere are continuing their aggressive forechecking and forcing turnovers. Sonne tries to shove it short side but is turned away by Markstrom.
The crowd is so loud you can barely hear the whistle.
The physical play, from both sides, are picking up (as if it wasn't physical already). Both teams want it.
Offside is called on Sweden. 16:32 to go in the first period. Markstrom is the Panthers 2nd round pick, 31st overall.
Lasu and Moller try to make a play, but are jumped on by Myers and Aulie. These two are becoming Canada's true shut down pairing.
Hickey and Teubert are back on the ice and the Swedes jump on them quickly. Canada's defense does a good job at keeping them wide, forcing the Swedes to commit to low-percentage shots. 14:48 to go.
The Energy Line (Kane, Cormier, Della Rovere) get back on the ice and force another turnover. Sweden's defensemen was bumped into his own goaltender, and Markstrom makes an Oscar worthy embellishment.