It took till the late levels of Saturday’s gold-medal recreation, however Canada lastly confronted adversity at the World Junior Hockey Championship.
After blowing a two-goal lead to the Finns, Kent Johnson got here to the rescue. At 3:20 of additional time, Johnson tucked dwelling the rebound from his personal shot to give Canada a 3-2 win and the gold medal.
Coming into the third, Canada held a 2-0 lead, however the Finns roared again to tie the sport in entrance of 13,327 followers at Rogers Place. After being credited with simply 13 pictures over the primary two intervals, the Finns launched 17 pictures on web in the third, and obtained objectives from Aleksi Heimosalmi and Joakim Kemell to ship the sport to additional time.
The Canadians had loads of possibilities to bury the Finns, however went 0-for-6 on the ability play in regulation.
Canada additionally obtained objectives from Joshua Roy and William Dufour. With two assists in the sport, Mason McTavish completed because the event’s high scorer, with eight objectives and 9 assists. He was named event MVP.
But McTavish’s best second won’t have been a objective or help, however clearing what regarded to be a tournament-winning effort from Topi Niemela off the objective line simply seconds earlier than Johnson notched the deciding objective.
From the group stage to the elimination spherical, Canada’s smallest margin of victory was three. But the gold-medal recreation in opposition to Finland marked a brand new kind of problem for the Canadians, because the opposition went right into a defensive shell proper from the opening faceoff.
The Finns clogged up the center of the ice and broke up the move of the sport. When Canada established management of the puck in the Finnish finish, 4 of the 5 Finnish skaters collapsed to the entrance of their very own objective, performing as a blockade for goalie Juha Jatkola. From above, it regarded as if the Finns have been enjoying with only one ahead and 4 defencemen.
But Canada broke the Finnish blockade at 11:18 of the primary. McTavish got here out from behind the Finnish objective, his shot was stopped by Jatkola, however the rebound fell to Joshua Roy, who made no mistake.
At 12:05, Finland’s Kalle Vaisanen lastly recorded his staff’s first shot on objective.
Canada didn’t permit the Finns the possibility to gradual them down in the second. Just 41 seconds into the interval, a Dufour wrist shot beat Jatkola.
Canadian ahead Kent Johnson had an opportunity to put his staff up by three close to the midway mark of the interval, however Jatkola denied him on the breakaway likelihood.
Maybe the Finns lack of output — simply 13 pictures — in the primary two intervals, lulled Canada to sleep. They got here out with extra offensive resolve in the ultimate interval and halved the Canadian lead at 4:09. Heimosalmi’s level shot floated by means of visitors and over the shoulder of Canadian goalie Dylan Garand.
At 10:46, the Finns obtained the tying objective, with Kemell one-timing dwelling an ideal move from Topi Niemela.
Canada outshot the Finns 33-31.
Where does this Canadian efficiency rank in world junior historical past? Before the ultimate, The closest anybody got here to even making the Canadians sweat in this event was Switzerland, who obtained to inside 5-3 of the Canadians in the quarterfinals, a recreation the Canadians would go on to win by a 6-3 rely.
Canada gained its 4 Group A video games by an combination rating of 27-7.
But, In 2005, Canada’s strongest junior staff ever — that includes the likes of Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Seabrook and Corey Perry — went 4-0-0 in the group stage, scoring 32 objectives and giving up simply 5. The Canadians beat the Czechs 3-1 in the semifinal and triumphed 6-1 over Russia in the ultimate.
While the world juniors has been suffering from poor attendance, the gold-medal recreation featured the most important and most animated crowd of the occasion. For the one time in the event, seats have been opened to followers in the higher bowl of Rogers Place.
SWEDEN NETS BRONZE
Isak Rosen scored the game-winner for Sweden in a 3-1 victory over Czechia to take the bronze medal at the world junior males’s hockey championship earlier on Saturday.
After Sweden’s Fabian Lysell scored at 14:22 in the primary interval, Michael Gut pulled Czechia even with a power-play objective at 13:30 of the second.
But Rosen restored Sweden’s lead lower than two minutes later and Linus Sojodin added an insurance coverage objective with 4 minutes remaining in the sport.
Bronze wasn’t the medal color Rosen and his teammates needed, however the Buffalo Sabres prospect was joyful together with his staff’s efficiency Saturday.
“You strive to win the last game,” Rosen stated. “Of course we wanted the gold, but better bronze than nothing.”
Sweden’s Jesper Wallstedt stopped 27 pictures for the win. Czechia, previously the Czech Republic, had 20 saves from Tomas Suchanek.
Sweden completed third in the event for the second time in three years after the identical outcome in 2020 in Czechia.
The Czechs’ final medal was bronze in 2005.