Game Day Preview: Team Canada Looks to Keep the Offense Rolling as they Vs. Team Austria

Team Canada Celebrates Goal vs Czechia in Opener
Team Canada Celebrates Goal Vs. Czechia in Opener Photo credit: Andy Devlin/Getty Images

After a crushing 11-2 victory over Team Germany on Wednesday night, Team Canada is back in action tonight against Team Austria! After a slow start in Team Canada’s opener, they certainly turned it around against Team Germany and now look ahead to tonight’s game as they try to keep the momentum going! As for Team Austria, the group highlighted by defenseman David Reinbacher is still looking for its first win at this year’s World Juniors.

Team Canada made some significant line changes for the second game of the tournament. Draft-eligible forward Adam Fantilli was dropped to the third line, as Montreal Canadiens prospect Joshua Roy was elevated to the second line. A welcomed change for the group that brought out an absolutely stunning performance offensively, scoring a whopping 11 goals. I expect similar lines for this one tonight against Team Austria, who has had a miserable time defending so far at this year’s tournament. Team Austria has given up a combined 20 goals in two appearances so far, which should make for a tough task against Team Canada’s offense. If Team Canada wants to remain successful in this one, it’s important that we see more of the Dylan Guenther and the Connor Bedard combination! The two forwards combined for an outstanding 10 points against Team Germany in the team’s 11-2 victory! Most damage from this highly skilled duo was from the power-play, but Connor Bedard’s ability to find the blade of Dylan Guenther is special, and I certainly expect it to be a factor for the rest of the tournament.

As for Team Austria, it’s been an awful start in their opening two games. An 11-0 loss to Team Sweden followed by a 9-0 thrashing to Czechia. Austria is definitely hungry for, not even the team’s first win but for the team’s first goal. Austria lacks some of the top-tier prospects you can find on some of the better rosters, but there’s one particular name you might want to watch for tonight. Draft-eligible defenseman David Reinbacher is a prospect that’s received a ton of praise early on this season. More known for his ability to read plays defensively while also having the skills to contribute offensively, make him an intriguing prospect to keep an eye on. It’s still too early to tell where Reinbacher could go in the Draft next June, but most mock drafts have him going late first-round to early second-round. It’ll be exciting to see how David can match up against some of the better prospects in hockey, a fun test for Reinbacher to improve his draft stock tonight; it should be entertaining.

As for predictions, I don’t think it’s too bold to take Team Canada in this one! Obviously, you never want to disregard an opponent, but after last night’s showing vs. Team Germany, Team Canada looked red hot and played exactly how we envisioned them coming into the tournament. My final score prediction for this one is 6-1 for Team Canada. Obviously, Team Austria lacks the star talent that makes me predict such a gap, but this is hockey, a sport where anything can happen at any level. I’m not overlooking this one just yet, but my confidence is high for this Team Canada group that I hope can continue this offensive burst!

Thanks for reading! For more hockey content follow me on Twitter at ITR_Anselmo, Enjoy tonight’s game!

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Joshua Anselmo

A hockey mind that's always looking at new and insightful ways to bring different perspectives of the game we all love.

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