When Canada takes to the ice against Germany with a trip to the men’s hockey gold medal game on the line, the team may be without its starting goaltender.
Ben Scrivens, who started in three of four games for Canada, left Wednesday’s quarterfinal against Finland after colliding with Finnish forward Veli-Matti Savinainen early in the second period. Kevin Poulin replaced Scrivens, who didn’t return to action. Following the game, Sportsnet’s John Shannon disclosed that the “early prognosis on Ben Scrivens does not sound good” while throwing out the notion that the 31-year-old may be out for the remainder of the Olympics.
Canada GM Sean Burke provided his own update on Scrivens following the team’s practice on Thursday.
“Ben’s not a guy that’s out of this tournament for sure,” Burke said via The Canadian Press. “So I think we’ll be back to having three guys available to us I would hope by (Friday).”
If Scrivens isn’t able to suit up against Germany, Canada remains in capable hands. Poulin, a five-year NHL veteran, led Canada to a 4-0 win over Korea earlier in the tournament.
Canada needed only one goal to defeat Finland and advance to the Olympic semifinal. Maxim Noreau, who leads Canada with five points, scored 55 seconds into the third period for the game’s lone tally. After outscoring opponents 12-5 in Pyeongchang, Team Canada appeared dominant in its victories en route to the semifinal. Germany’s hands will be full against Canada, which looks to spoil the Germans’ remarkable run.
Germany failed to record a regulation win thus far but that hasn’t stopped the team from setting up an unexpected match-up with the Canadians. Team Germany is on a two-game winning streak after recently defeating Sweden, one of the tournament’s odds-on favourites to win gold. Patrick Reimer, who had yet to record a point, scored what is so far Germany’s most important goal to propel the European nation to the semifinals.
Patrick Hager leads Germany in points (2-2-4) while Danny Aus Den Birken serves as the team’s starting goaltender. The 33-year-old netminder started in each of Germany’s four games and will likely be who stands in Canada’s way of defending its Olympic crown.