Maple Leafs’ John Tavares Helps Canada Avoid Disasterous Collapse Against Austria With Overtime Winner at Men’s World Hockey Championships

Maple Leafs’ John Tavares scored the overtime game-winner in Canada’s 7-6 victory over Austria on Tuesday, but the inability to hold a five-goal lead cost the Canadians a point.

It would have been talked about forever had the European nation pulled it off.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares scored the overtime winner for Canada as they prevailed amidst a third-period collapse to defeat Austria 7-6 in Day 4 action at the World Hockey Championship.

With Canada having a five-goal lead after two periods, Austria scores five goals on nine shots in the third to tie the game 6-6.

After starting the tournament on the right foot Saturday against Great Britain and finding the win column again on Sunday against Denmark, Canada held on to their third preliminary round victory on Tuesday against Austria by a score of 7-6 in overtime.

Playing late-game hero, a position he is all too familiar with throughout his professional playing career, Tavares scored 15 seconds into 3-on-3 overtime after taking the puck himself through the neutral zone and putting a fast one past Team Austria Goaltender David Madlener – who had 42 saves.

The comeback from Austria was a blemish on Canada’s record, costing them a point in the standings an moving to 2-1-0-0 for the tournament.

“We just let some details slip. They got some life and momentum and you have to withstand that. We just have to do a better job with how we manage that. It’s a good lesson for us,” Tavares told TSN after the game.

Tavares has been seamlessly integrated into the first-line centering Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brandon Hagel and Los Angeles Kings winger Pierre-Luc Dubois. Building off his assist in the team’s 5-1 win over Denmark on Sunday and his game-winner on Tuesday, Tavares notched another primary assist on Kaiden Guhle’s goal earlier in the game to put the team in front 2-0 halfway through the first period – collectively now with three points (1G, 2A) in two games.

The win on Tuesday marked the first time Canada has ever allowed six goals to Austria at the Men’s World Hockey Championships. If Austria had ended up winning the matinee matchup, it would have been the biggest comeback in the history of the tournament.

The Canadians will look to turn the page ahead of their game on Thursday against Team Norway (1-0-0-3)

“It’s a good lesson. I think this definitely grabs our attention and just how we have to stay with our game and continue to build our identity,” Tavares said. “Teams build momentum, they get chances, they build life, and we have to withstand that and play through it.”

With a day off on Wednesday, the puck will drop for  Canada’s fourth preliminary round game at 2:20 P.M. ET on Thursday

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