Happy birthday, Mathew Barzal! On his 25th birthday, Barzal and Team Canada defeated Team Sweden 4-3 in overtime of their quarterfinal matchup at the 2022 IIHF World Championships. Team Canada will move on to the semifinals and take on Team Czechia.
Prior to today's victory, Barzal didn't contribute much to Canada in terms of points. In six games, Barzal only chipped in a pair of helpers. It was a fairly quiet tournament for the Islanders center until today. Canada found themselves behind 3-2 in the closing minutes of the matchup. On the attack with under two minutes left, Claude Julien pulled Chris Driedger for the extra skater. From the right circle, Barzal displays some crafty edgework eluding Swedens Oskar Lang and throws a backhanded wrister on the net in traffic that beats Boston Bruins goaltender, Linus Ullmark to tie things at three with 1:23 left on the clock.
Barzal sends Canada and Sweden to overtime and things don't last very long. Toronto Maple Leafs forward, William Nylander, takes a tripping penalty 25 seconds into overtime sending Sweden to the penalty kill and giving Canada a 4on3 advantage. Barzal, again from the right circle, draws a defender and feeds Ottawa Senators forward, Drake Batherson with a beautiful no-look pass to end things in overtime, Batherson's third goal of the tournament.
Canada mounted an improbable comeback after trailing by three goals heading into the third period. Goals from New Jersey Devils defenseman, Ryan Graves, and Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois brought things within reach for Canada before before Barzal and Batherson ultimately decided to call game. Canada will now advance to the semi-finals for the seventh consecutive IIHF World Championship.
Barzal was named Canada's player of the game.