Four Calgary Flames remain in the hunt for World Championship medals
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike3 months ago
The round robin portion of the 2023 IIHF men’s World Championship has come and gone. After seven games apiece, the men’s national teams from Canada and the United States remain in the hunt for medals – and that means that all four Calgary Flames players taking part in the tournament are in the hunt, too.
The theme of the round robin for the red, white and blue was America, eff yeah. The United States won all seven games, six of them in regulation, edging out Sweden for top spot in Group A. (Switzerland went undefeated in Group B.)
Fresh-faced rookie Matt Coronato played all seven games for the USA, playing a mixture of centre and the wing, primarily in the bottom six. He had a goal and four assists for five points, went +6, and was fourth on the entire team in shots with 19. For someone who turned 20 in November and was playing his first senior-level international event, it’s an impressive performance. (The jury’s still out on him being a centre as a pro, though.)
The Americans face Czechia on Thursday at 7:20 a.m. MT in the quarterfinals.
Canada had a more uneven tournament than their southern counterparts. Canada finished second in Group B. They lost twice – once in extra time to Norway and once in regulation to Switzerland – and needed extra time to get past Slovakia.
MacKenzie Weegar was easily the most positive story for Canada in the round robin. He had nine points, a +8 rating, and played an average of 21:54 – all three stats led Canada. The team game might have been a bit uneven, but Weegar was really, really good. He was also the only Canadian to score at a point-per-game pace.
Tyler Toffoli had a goal and three assists for four points across seven games. Milan Lucic had two goals and an assist for three points across seven games. Both players were perfectly fine, but the challenge for Canada, as a whole, is that aside from Weegar (and perhaps goaltender Sam Montembeault) nobody was better than “fine.” They need to find another gear in the medal round.
Canada faces Finland on Thursday at 11:20 a.m. MT in the quarterfinals.
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