The IIHF World Junior Championships kicked off in Gothenburg, Sweden, at the end of 2023. The first games of 2024 were the Quarterfinal round, with eight teams making it to the knockout round. Canada and Latvia, featuring Bruins prospects Matthew Poitras and Dans Locmelis respectively, were two of these teams.
Unfortunately for both Poitras and Locmelis, both Canada and Latvia were eliminated in the Quarterfinals, with Canada losing 3-2 in an upset to Czechia while Latvia fell in a 7-2 rout to the United States.
After Canada fell behind Czechia 2-0 after one period, they scored two goals in the second period to tie it back up. One goal came off a primary assist from Poitras, an alternate captain of the Canadian squad.
Czechia would score to win the game with 11 seconds left on the clock in the third period, with Poitras playing an unfortunate part in doing so. While not primarily Poitras' fault, it's a tough play to see.
Meanwhile, Locmelis scored both goals for Latvia in their loss to the U.S. as they march on towards a championship. Captaining team Latvia, Locmelis scored at the 13:50 mark of the first period to cut the USA lead to 2-1 after Drew Fortescue and Gabe Perreault had already scored for the Americans.
While Team USA went on to score 5 straight goals after that, Locmelis scored his second goal of the game with 7:12 left in regulation, making the score 7-2.
Poitras' tournament comes to an end with two goals, two assists, four penalty minutes, and a -3 rating overall in five games. Locmelis produced two goals, three assists, a -2 rating, and four penalty minutes of his own.
With Canada and Latvia eliminated, expect Poitras back with the Bruins whenever Canada makes the trip back from Sweden. When Latvia leaves Sweden, Locmelis will make his way back to North America to continue his freshman season with UMass.