Canucks at Worlds: Silovs and Latvia’s push for quarters, Canada and USA remain undefeated
Photo credit:Instagram via @abbycanucks
11 days ago
Arturs Silovs took home player of the game honours after Latvia’s second game of the 2023 IIHF World Championship, a 2-1 loss to Slovakia in which Silovs made 27 saves on 29 shots. And since then, Silovs has backstopped Latvia to three straight wins. The first came against Czechia, as the hosts forced overtime thanks to this late save from the Canucks’ prospect goaltender:
The second came against Norway, when Silovs stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced. And the third came on Friday, when Latvia took care of Slovenia, who remain the only nation without a point in the standings.
As a result, Latvia has stormed their way into the conversation to qualify for the quarterfinals. The top four teams from each group will qualify, and at the time of this writing, this is what the Group B standings look like.
In other words, Latvia’s in a good position to make it out of round-robin play.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about Silovs’ performance at this year’s World Championship is that he wasn’t even the starter for his home nation when the tournament began. Silovs came in for cleanup duty after Canada chased out of the Latvian goal crease in each team’s very first game of the tournament. Latvia went on to lose that game by a final score of 6-0, but Silovs’ performances in that game and all the games since have been reason enough for Latvia to stick with the 22-year-old in goal.
To put it simply, he’s emerged Latvia’s goalie of the future, and the present. Latvia’s run will be a fun one to follow.
Canada, USA, remain undefeated
The Vancouver Canucks have representation on both Team Canada and Team USA. The reason you haven’t seen us write much about them is that the Canucks’ players haven’t done a whole heck of a lot for their teams.
Conor Garland did record a two assist game and has three assists through four games at the tournament so far, so there is that. But as for Tyler Myers and Ethan Bear, both defencemen remain pointless despite Canada having scored 18 goals through four games.
The story for Canada at this year’s tournament has been Calgary Flames defenceman Mackenzie Weegar, who has a whopping eight points in just four games. He’s truly done it all for Canada at this year’s tournament.
We’ll keep you updated as the tournament rolls along. Latvia has two games remaining — one against a lowly Kazakhstan team, the other against an undefeated Switzerland squad. Canada and the USA both have three games left each and are shoo-ins for the qualifying round games, which will take place on May 25th.
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