As the World Juniors continue in Edmonton, things started to get heated between two Team Canada stars at their practice on Saturday.
Mason McTavish and Kent Johnson were going up against one another in face-off drills. Both battled for the puck, and ultimately, Johnson won it back from the Anaheim Ducks prospect. McTavish then slew-footed the Blue Jackets prospect, sending him back and hard onto the ice.
Johnson was less than pleased and got up to share words with his World Juniors teammate. The two wrestled as McTavish held onto him for a few moments before Johnson pushed him off and ultimately skated off. The gloves didn’t come off for either in the heated exchange.
Team Canada is fresh off a 5-1 win over Czechia on Saturday. McTavish is currently leading the World Juniors in goals (6) and points (10) through just three games so far and has also won 54.9 percent of his face-offs. Johnson has a goal and two assists, as well as 17 shots over that span. He also scored a Michigan goal against Czechia.
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As has been evident for several pro teams, practices can get heated. And yes, fights do break out from time to time. For instance, back in 2018, former Washington Capitals forward Zach Sanford dropped the gloves with Robert Bortuzzo at a St. Louis Blues practice. St. Louis had been in last place, and frustrations were boiling over. The Blues ultimately went on to win the Stanley Cup that season.
Canada’s currently having no issues whatsoever in the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championships; they are 3-0 (nine points) and lead Group A so far by a landslide. They also have 21 goals for with just four goals against and also lead all World Junior teams in scoring efficiency and power-play percentage.