Canada vs. Germany: Live scores, highlights, updates from 2021 World Juniors

Let's be honest: We all know that 2020 has been a weird year, with normalcy thrown out the window. But it's Boxing Day, and we finally have one normal thing to look forward to — Canada playing a world juniors hockey game.

The Canadians open up the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship with their sights set squarely on winning gold for the second straight year. Six players return from that team, and know what it takes to go all the way.

Canada kickstarts things against a depleted German roster, who due to COVID-19 positive tests, can only sport a roster of two goalies, nine forwards and five defensemen. Great for beer league, not so much for a hotly contested international tournament. Regardless, the Germans played a fantastic game on Christmas Day against the Finns and, despite a 5-3 loss, will not be an easy out. After all, they do have soon-to-be Senators forward Tim Stuetzle flying down the ice.

As for the Canadians, they'll be without a key piece in captain Kirby Dach, who has headed back to Chicago following a wrist injury that occurred in the team's lone exhibition game.

"Our captain is Kirby Dach," coach Andre Tourigny said matter-of-factly Friday. "That's our captain. That's for me, we have a captain. It's Kirby Dach. He's still part of the team. He has to take care of the injury but for me, Kirby Dach is captain of Team Canada 2021."

Due to IIHF rules, however, Canada had to select a player to wear the "C" during games; assistant captains Dylan Cozens and Bowen Byram will split duties, while Connor McMichael has been elevated to assistant captain.

Speaking of McMichael: With the loss of Dach, his line is the only one to remain intact. Phil Tomasino, who was the odd man out in the exhibition game, is now playing on a line with Connor Zary and Ryan Suzuki. One guy to keep an eye on, per NHL Network's Dave Starman, is Alex Newhook, whom the analyst said is "explosive," "has a little snarl to his game" and is a combination of the Hayes boys (Kevin and Jimmy) and Chris Kreider.

In between the pipes will be Devon Levi, who has been steady from the intrasquad scrimmages to the exhibition game where he shutout the Russians. While he wasn't even invited to Hockey Canada's virtual summer camp — and he played junior A last season — he's just the fourth-ever NCAA goalie to wear the Maple Leaf in the starter's net and has impressed his teammates from the jump.

"To be completely honest, I didn't really know who he was before the camp but he came here and stood out right away," said Cozens, regarding the 212th player selected in the 2020 draft by the Panthers. "So hard to score on in practice, such a great player, he's got great positioning. We definitely trust him as our starter."

Sporting News has all the action as Canada looks to get off to a good start at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.

(All times Eastern)

Canada vs. Germany scores, highlights from 2021 World Juniors preliminary game

8:10 p.m.: GOAL. Cozens helps Canada pick up where it left off in the second period. 12-1, Canada.

8:06 p.m.: Dylan Garand is now in goal for Canada.

8:05 p.m.: Canada is outshooting Germany 29-9.

End of second period: Canada 11, Germany 1

7:47 p.m.: GOAL. Krebs tallies his second finish of the contest. 11-1, Canada.

7:43 p.m.: GOAL. Double digits now. Dylan Cozens adds to the advantage. 10-1, Canada.

7:35 p.m.: GOAL. Philip Tomasino's turn to score. 9-1, Canada.

7:31 p.m.: GOAL. Make it eight! Newhook again. 8-1, Canada.

7:23 p.m.: Kirby Dach is watching this all from home. Has to be quite pleased.

7:21 p.m.: GOAL. Alex Newhook. Canada is pouring it on. That's seven in less than two periods. 7-1, Canada.

7:19 p.m.: GOAL. Canada is well on its way to a huge blowout. Ryan Suzuki takes advantage of another goalie mishap. 6-1, Canada.

7:17 p.m.: GOAL. Mercer strikes for Canada for the second time in the game. 5-1, Canada.

7:09 p.m.: Game on and Germany has a new netminder. Jonas Gahr is the replacement.

End of first period: Canada 4, Germany 1

6:50 p.m.: End of first period. Canada put one in the net just after the buzzer that won't count. UPDATE: A video review gives the goal to Canada! That's a surprising decision, as it appeared the puck crossed the goal line late. In any case, that's a big finish for Peyton Krebs. 4-1, Canada.

6:48 p.m.: Two-minute power play for Canada.

6:37 p.m.: GOAL. Canada answers right back. Phil Tomasino pretty much skates the full sheet and scores. 3-1, Canada.

6:35 p.m.: PP GOAL for the Germans! John-Jason Peterka (BUF) with an absolute snipe. 2-1, Canada.

6:29 p.m.: Braden Schneider is ejected for this hit. Five-minute power play for Germany.

6:26 p.m.: Canada doubles its advantage! Dawson Mercer slots a shorthanded goal around the cage and in. Terrible defensive play from Germany to give the puck away. 2-0, Canada.

6:17 p.m.: What a stop by Devon Levi on Tim Stuetzle. The Senators prospect tried to go around the sprawling netminder but is stopped by the pad.

6:16 p.m.: Ryan Suzuki flying in and is stopped. Canada is using its speed tonight.

6:15 p.m.: Canada almost immediately jumps in front! Kaiden Guhle finds the net. 1-0, Canada.

6:13 p.m.: From the jump, Canada comes out playing on all cylinders. Dylan Cozens misses an open net as he hits the crossbar.

Pregame

5:15 p.m. — Suiting up for the game.

5:10 p.m. — Lines are here.

2:24 p.m. — The new leadership group.

World Juniors 2021: Latest news

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