Canada head coach Dominique Ducharme has announced that Connor Ingram will start over Carter Hart in goal against Sweden in today’s world junior semifinal.
Goaltending has been a major storyline for Canada in this tournament, and not a good one. Neither Ingram nor Hart have looked strong at any point, and the numbers reflect as much — Canada has the ninth-ranked save percentage (.874) among the 10 teams in the tournament.
Only Latvia, which was relegated yesterday, is lower.
Ducharme’s decision to go with Ingram is likely because the Tampa Bay prospect has played in each of the last two games — a loss to the U.S., and a win over the Czechs — while Hart hasn’t seen game action in seven days.
That said, the temptation to make a switch had to be there, especially since Ducharme wasn’t very complimentary of Ingram the Czech game, in which he allowed three goals on his first 16 shots faced.
Hart, a Flyers prospect and the reigning CHL goalie of the year, came into this tournament as the starting netminder but looked shaky at the onset. He allowed a pair of soft goals in a win over Russia, and has only received one start since — an easy 10-2 rout of the aforementioned Latvians.