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Darren Calabrese/COC - Roman Koksarov/AP Photo - Chris Carlson/AP Photo
Darren Calabrese/COC - Roman Koksarov/AP Photo - Chris Carlson/AP Photo

5 Team Canada things to watch this weekend: May 19-22

There is such an array of sports in which Team Canada athletes will be in action over the next few days that there will surely be something for everyone to get excited about.

Whether it’s on the ice, in the water, on the road, or on the greens, Canadian athletes will be competing with the best in the world over the coming days.

Team Canada heads into the weekend undefeated at the men’s world hockey championship. Canada’s most decorated Olympian, Penny Oleksiak, has returned after knee surgery to compete alongside some medal contender teammates in the Mare Nostrum Swim Tour. Meanwhile, first year pro cyclist Derek Gee has been enjoying a dream Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia which heads into its final week.

Here are just some of the Canadian teams and athletes to keep an eye on in the coming days.

Hockey

The IIHF World Championship continues this weekend in Riga, Latvia and Tampere, Finland. Based in Riga for the preliminary round, Canada will face Switzerland on Saturday and Norway on Monday before concluding the round robin against Czechia on Tuesday. All of Team Canada’s games are scheduled for 9:20 a.m. ET and will be broadcast by TSN.

Team Canada opened the tournament with four straight wins, defeating Latvia (6-0), Slovenia (5-2), Slovakia (2-1) and Kazakhstan (5-1. MacKenzie Weegar has been the team’s top scorer so far, recording three goals and five assists in those four games. As is usually the case, Team Canada is composed primarily of NHL players whose teams are not in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

READ: Team Canada looking to get back on top of podium at IIHF World Championship

Canada won the world title in 2021 before being runners-up last year. Canada has played for gold in six of the last seven men’s world championships. The quarterfinals will be played on Thursday May 25, with the semifinals on Saturday May 27 and the medal matches on Sunday May 28.

Swimming

Ahead of the World Aquatics Championships which will take place July 22-30, many of Canada’s top swimmers are getting back into racing mode on the Mare Nostrum Swim Tour. The third and final stop will be in Monaco on Saturday and Sunday.

Among the Canadians to watch are Olympic medallists Maggie Mac Neil and Penny Oleksiak, who competed earlier in the week at the Barcelona stop. That meeting marked a return to competition for Oleksiak. She hadn’t raced since the world championships last June after undergoing surgery to repair a meniscus tear in August.

On Thursday, Mac Neil shared the women’s 100m butterfly podium with teammate Katerine Savard as they won silver and bronze, respectively. Ingrid Wilm collected a pair of gold medals in the women’s 50m and 100m backstroke events. After her Wednesday win the women’s 400m freestyle, Ella Jensen added a bronze in the 200m freestyle on Thursday. Mary-Sophie Harvey earned a silver in the women’s 200m IM while Finlay Knox put the Canadian men on the medal table with a bronze in the 200m IM.

Finals on Friday and Saturday will be streamed by CBCSports.ca starting at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Road Cycling

Being a freshman on the pro cycling circuit hasn’t kept Derek Gee from making his mark at the Giro d’Italia. The Canadian, who competed in track cycling at Tokyo 2020, has had a dazzling debut at the first Grand Tour of the year.

READ: Everything you need to know about road cycling’s Grand Tours

A member of the Israel-Premier Tech team, Gee stood on the second step of the podium during last Saturday’s 207km eighth stage from Terni to Fossombrone. He earned another second-place finish in Tuesday’s 10th stage contested over a 196km route from Scandiano to Viareggio. That has helped him to be ranked among the top sprinters at the Giro.

This weekend, the route heads into some tough mountain stages in the northwest of Italy. The 21-stage race will conclude in Rome on May 28.

Golf

The second men’s major of the year, the PGA Championship, got underway on Thursday at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.

There are six Canadians in the field, including Olympians Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes. They, along with Adam Svensson, have all won PGA Tour titles in the last year. Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor are both prior winners on the PGA Tour. Taylor Pendrith rounds out the Canadian contingent.

Fencing

En garde! The foil specialists on the Canadian fencing team will be in action at the FEI Grand Prix in Shanghai, China from Friday to Sunday.

Eleanor Harvey, ranked seventh in the world, and Jessica Guo, at number 10, will be among the top athletes to watch. Harvey placed sixth in individual foil at a World Cup in Plovdiv, Bulgaria earlier this month. Her previous Grand Prix success includes a silver medal in South Korea last May and a bronze in Shanghai in 2018.