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Canada vs. Germany (Dec. 26)
While 2020 may be a weird year, there’s one constant that remains the same — Team Canada playing hockey on Boxing Day.
The Canadians open their 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship campaign aiming for back-to-back gold medals. The home nation (although they won’t have the backing of a raucous crowd at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alta., thanks to bubble hockey) kicks things off with a match-up against a depleted German squad.
Due to COVID-19 positive tests and extended quarantines, Germany will only be able to suit up 16 players — nine forwards, five defensemen and two goalies. That’s great for a beer league game; not so much for an international tournament or on the second game of a back-to-back or against the both of the powerhouses in your group.
It’ll be a tough one for the Germans as the Canadians look to get their feet wet and start things off on the right foot. Canada will sport a re-jiggered line-up as captain Kirby Dach was lost following Wednesday’s exhibition game with a wrist injury. Devon Levi, who shut out Russia in that contest and has been a calming force, gets the nod in net.
And while Canada will be cheering for the Maple Leaf from coast-to-coast, there will surely be a few in the nation’s capital rooting for a good game from Senators prospect and 2020 third-overall pick Tim Stuetzle.
Here’s how to watch Canada and Germany face off in Group A action at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.
How to watch Canada vs. Germany
TV channel (Canada): TSN
Live stream (Canada): TSN Live
TV channel (USA): NHL Network
Canada vs. Germany: When is puck drop?
Date: Saturday, Dec. 26
Time: 6 p.m. ET
World Juniors 2021: Latest news
Germany vs. Canada
How to watch
Puck drop: 6:00 PM EST / 3:00 PM PST
In Canada: TSN (English,) RDS (French)
In the United States: NHL Network
Live stream: TSN Direct, RDS Direct
Germany has had the worst possible start to their World Junior Championship, dealing with eight positive coronavirus cases among the player pool. The virus hit the defence corps the hardest, and the team was forced to play their opening game on Friday with just five blue-liners. All things considered, you’d have to say it went much better than expected, as they stayed competitive in a 5-3 loss to Finland with a 14-skater lineup.
To pull it off, most players had to play well above a typical performance. Defenceman Simon Gnyp led the way with almost 29 minutes of ice time, Tim Stützle punched out having played 26:01, and goaltender Arno Tiefensee was peppered with 50 shots.
It wasn’t the kind of start Germany was hoping for, tiring themselves out in the opening contest with the most critical matches coming at the end of the tournament. That will also make their test today against Canada, with about a 24-hour turnaround, that much more difficult.
Canada’s issues pale in comparison to Germany’s, but they were dealt their own bit of adversity when Kirby Dach broke his wrist on an awkward check of a Russian player late in the team’s only exhibition game. The captain will miss the tournament, and Canada loses one of the event’s top players.
Fortunately, Canada has the talent to compensate, bringing a robust roster of star players this winter. The team can manage without even the best skater at its disposal, and it still projects as the tournament favourite. It could be an ugly match for the depleted German side today if Canada is determined to start off with a bang.
TV: TSN | Radio: TSN Radio | Stream: TSN Direct
Forty-one days after selection camp got underway, Canada’s National Junior Team finally drops the puck on the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship when it takes on Germany. It has been a long road to Boxing Day for both teams as COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on tournament preparations.
Canada earned a win in its lone pre-tournament game on Wednesday night, getting 23 saves from Devon Levi and a third-period goal from Jamie Drysdale to blank Russia 1-0. It did, however, lose captain Kirby Dach for the tournament with a wrist injury.
Germany opened its tournament with a 5-3 loss to Finland on Friday. Despite being outshot 50-22 and icing only 16 players, the Germans cut a three-goal deficit to one in the second period before two goals in two minutes gave the Finns back their cushion. Tim Stützle, the third-overall pick by Ottawa in the 2020 NHL Draft, was as advertised, contributing a goal and an assist.
The Canadians and Germans met in the preliminary round a year ago in Ostrava. Bouncing back from a disastrous 6-0 loss to Russia, Nolan Foote, Liam Foudy and Ty Dellandrea had a goal and an assist each to help Canada cruise to a 4-1 win.
WHAT TO WATCH
After skating in the same trios almost exclusively since the team was officially named on Dec. 11, the injury to Dach has thrown the Canadian forward lines into disarray; no line will remain the same from the pre-tournament game, and the loss of the captain means all 13 forwards left on the roster will dress (Philip Tomasino was the odd-man-out for the Russia game).
For the Germans, nine players remain in quarantine – three will be released Dec. 27 and five on Dec. 29, while the most recent positive test will stay isolated until Jan. 4. That means the team will once again dress only 16 players – nine forwards, five defencemen and two goaltenders. Throw in the fact they’re playing the defending gold medallists in the second half of a back-to-back, and it’s a tough test ahead.
HAPPY BOXING DAY!
The 2021 World Juniors mark the 36th time that Canada will take to the ice on Dec. 26, and the 31st time it will do so in its tournament opener. The Canadians are an impressive 33-2 in Boxing Day match-ups, including four wins in a row and 17 of their last 18, and 29-1 in curtain-raisers.
It will be the sixth time Canada has faced Germany on Dec. 26 (including two games against West Germany). The Canadians are a perfect 5-0 in the previous meetings, outscoring the Germans 31-9.