(WGR 550) – There was a huge upset on Monday at the World Championship in Riga, Latvia, as Team Canada lost in a shootout to Norway, 3-2. It was the second-straight loss for the Canadians in the tournament.
After helping the Canadians earn a shootout win earlier in the tournament against Slovakia, Buffalo Sabres winger Jack Quinn lost the puck and never got a shot off.
After falling behind 2-0, Canada started their comeback with Milan Lucic of the Calgary Flames cutting the lead in half with a second period goal. Then with just 12 seconds left in regulation time, Logan Crouse of the Arizona Coyotes tied the game with his goaltender pulled to force overtime.
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With Joel Hofer (St. Louis Blues) getting the start in goal on Monday against Norway, it looks like Devon Levi is now Canada’s No. 3 goalie.
Sam Montembeault of the Montreal Canadiens was named Canada’s starting goalie before the tournament started. He played Canada’s first game and got a 23 save shutout over Latvia.
Levi got Game 2 and beat Slovenia, 5-2, stopping 22-of-24 pucks.
Montembeault was stellar in a 2-1 shootout victory over Slovakia, making 23 saves on 24 shots, and allowing two goals on eight shootout attempts.
Hofer got the start against Kazakhstan and made 16 saves on 17 shots. Montembeault played the 3-2 loss to Switzerland, making 23 saves on 26 shots.
In three games, Montembeault is 2-1-0 with a 1.31 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage.
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is Canada’s general manager. Hofer is 22-years-old and has spent most of his time in the AHL with the Springfield Thunderbirds, playing 88 games in two seasons. He also played one game for the San Antonio Rampage.
Hofer won Gold at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. He was 5-0-0 in that tournament with a 1.30 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage.
Levi won Silver the next year for Canada, going 6-0-1 with a 0.75 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage.
In the NHL, Hofer has played eight games, going 4-2-1 with a 3.18 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage.
In Tuesday’s loss, Hofer let in one goal that I’d ask my goaltender to make a save on, and another that handcuffed him after going off a Canadian player. Hofer stopped 21-of-23 shots, but was awful in the shootout, allowing four goals on five shots.
Overall, he’s 1-0-1 this tournament with a 1.46 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
Quinn played 16:24 and has played pretty well throughout the tournament, but he only has three assists in six games.
Peyton Krebs was back at center after playing most of the tournament on the wing, where he has struggled. Krebs did get 16:50 of ice-time with two shots on goal.
At 4-1-1, Canada remains in third place in Group B with 12 points, one point behind Czechia and one point ahead of Latvia. Canada’s final game of the preliminary round is Tuesday against Czechia.
Also on Tuesday, Alex Tuch and Team USA plays Sweden, while JJ Peterka and Germany tangles with France.