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World Juniors 2017: Latvia vs. Canada preview, TV schedule, lineups, and game thread

Off to a good start, Team Canada seeks third straight win at the Air Canada Centre.

Canada v Russia - 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Team Canada will take to the ice after a day of rest, facing Latvia in Toronto.

On Tuesday, the Red and White set the bar high with a dominating performance against Slovakia. In the 5-0 shutout, Canada’s team play and puck possession held their opponent to only six shots.

On the same day, Latvia was whipped 9-1 at the hands of Russia, whom Canada defeated on boxing day. All signs point to Thursday being a bad day for Latvia, but anything can happen on any given day, and that’s why short tournaments are exciting.

Canada is being lead up front by Mathew Barzal, who already has one goal and three assists for four points in only two games played. He also has amassed ten shots on net, leading the team in the process. Thomas Chabot has provided two goals from the blue line and also has one assist. Canada was able to use Michael McLeod and Jeremy Lauzon, the 13th forward and seventh defenceman respectively, more effectively against Slovakia than Russia, and both should once again receive more ice time on Thursday.

Latvia has suffered two losses in their opening games, allowing 15 goals and scoring only two of their own. There appear to be two major issues to Latvia’s ability to compete with elite hockey nations: their goal suppression and their discipline. Latvia averaged 19 minutes of penalties in each of their first two matchups, and their goaltending is the worst thus far in the tournament, with a save percentage of 0.785%.

How to watch

Puck drop: 8:00 PM EST / 5:00 PM PST
In Canada: TSN, TSN4, RDS
Streaming: TSNGO

Canada’s projected lineup (subject to change)

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#18 Pierre-Luc Dubois #19 Dylan Strome #20 Michael McLeod
#11 Mathieu Joseph #14 Mathew Barzal #16 Taylor Raddysh
#17 Tyson Jost #25 Nicolas Roy #12 Julien Gauthier
#9 Dillon Dubé #22 Anthony Cirelli #21 Blake Speers

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#5 Thomas Chabot #6 Philippe Myers
#2 Jake Bean #3 Noah Juulsen
#8 Dante Fabbro #15 Jeremy Lauzon
#10 Kale Clague

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
#31 Carter Hart
#1 Connor Ingram

Latvia’s projected lineup

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#6 Eduards Tralmaks #11 Renars Krastenbergs #12 Erlends Klavins
#10 Martins Dzierkals #21 Rudolfs Balcers #22 Filips Buncis
#9 Rihards Puide #14 Roberts Baranovskis #16 Valters Apfelbaums
#17 Roberts Blugers #18 Ricards Bernhards #24 Deniss Smirnovs

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#3 Eduards Hugo Jansons #4 Gvido Jansons
#5 Kristians Rubins #23 Karlis Cukste
#7 Maksims Ponomarenko #8 Kristaps Zile
#15 Tomass Zeile #26 Rimants Zeilis

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
#30 Mareks Egils Mitens
#29 Gustavs Davis Grigals