Game Day Preview: Team Canada Prepares for a Big Test Vs. Sweden in New Year’s Eve Clash

Team Canada Celebrates Goal
Team Canada Celebrates Goal Photo credit: Andy Devlin/Getty Images

Good Afternoon hockey fans! It’s the traditional New Year’s Eve game for Team Canada at the World Juniors! Tonight at 6:30 pm EST, Team Canada will take on Team Sweden in their last game of the preliminary round! Team Sweden currently leads Group A with a 2-1-0-0 record, while team Canada is third with a 2-0-0-1 record. This might be the most entertaining match-up of the tournament so far. Top prospects like Shane Wright against Jonathan Lekkermaki or top Draft-eligible forward Connor Bedard against Leo Carlsson! Tonight should be a good one; let’s dive into it a little more! 

Team Canada comes into tonight’s match-up after scoring twenty-two goals in their last two games. After dropping the opener to Czechia, Team Canada has been on a heater beating Team Germany 11-2 and Team Austria 11-0. Of course, the skill gap between opponents must be considered. However, Team Canada has looked much better than they did in the opener. Team Canada looks like they’ve simplified their game to a certain extent, and it’s working, but tonight will be the actual test. In goal for Team Canada is goaltender Thomas Milic! The 19-year-old goaltender has been in goal for Team Canada in their back-to-back wins. As for the lineup, changes are expected. After swapping Zack Ostapchuk and Adam Fantilli, Canada’s third line will have Dean and Gaucher along with Zack! The fourth line will be Fantilli with Bankier and Colton Dach! Team Canada also made some changes defensively as they placed Nolan Allen skating with Brandt Clarke. 

As for Team Sweden, A lineup highlighted by forwards Filip Bystedt, Jonathan Lekkermaki, and Fabian Lysell! This team certainly doesn’t lack talent. As for the defensive side, Elias Pettersson, Cale Odelius, and Ludvig Jansson are all players to keep an eye out for. This game will feature a lot of top prospects and make for a great test. Team Canada already dropped points, but this game still has a lot on the line. A must-watch prospect in this one is Sweden defenseman Axel Sandin Pellikka. Axel is a 17-year-old defenseman who is expected to go in the first round of the 2023 NHL entry draft. He’s got great overall talent and some punch offensively! Along with Carlsson and Bedard, this game should be fun for the fans that care a little more about the draft next June! 

As for predictions, I’m taking Team Canada to win this one 5-4! Team Canada’s offense is hot, going against Team Sweden, which is currently first in the group. I expect a high-scoring game tonight between the two. This is a must-watch game by every definition, especially for fans excited about the upcoming NHL entry draft! 

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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