Canada has won gold for a record 23rd time at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, beating Sweden 4-1 in Red Deer for the team’s first title since 2018.
Canada has won the championship 17 times over the past 22 tournaments, with Canada missing the 2021 tournament due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The tournament did not take place in 2020. Canada has won both events hosted in Alberta, with Canada beating Sweden the first time the tournament took place in Canada in 2018.
Canada outscored its opponents 34-3 in five games, highlighted by a 14-0 win over Switzerland.
Tanner Howe scored the first goal of the game, scoring from a tough angle at 5:49 in the first. That lead lasted five minutes until Hugo Pettersson took advantage of a Canadian miscue around their own net, tying the game at one apiece. It was the first time Canada faced a tie-game scenario all tournament long, giving them their first real bout with adversity.
That wouldn’t last for long, though, as Ethan Gauthier’s wrist shot went above Swedish netminder Noah Erliden and in for the 2-1 goal before the end of the first. The second period saw just one goal, with Oshawa Generals forward Cal Ritchie knocking in a shot at the side of the net after Erliden was caught looking the other way. Brayden Yager’s fifth of the tournament made it 4-1 late in the game, ensuring Canada would avoid a late-game collapse.
Finland won bronze earlier in the day with a 3-1 win over Czechia.