CANADA WINS GOLD! Defeats Russia to take World Junior title
Our Canadian World Juniors took the Gold Medal today in Ostrava, Czech Republic for their first World Junior Championship on European soil since 2008. Canada won a hard fought battle defeating longtime rivals Russia in a 4-3 nail-biter.
Birthday boy, Toronto’s Akil Thomas scored the winning goal roofing a backhander in tight in the dying minutes of the game. It was his first and only goal of the tournament.
Team captain Barrett Hayton, a doubtful starter due to injury, scored the game-tying goal after the Canadians went down 3-2 in the third. Hayton was also named the Player of the Game. The Arizona Coyotes centre and Peterborough raised centre led the tournament with 12 goals.
Canada entered the third period 3-1 and came back from behind to seize victory. They beat all odds as they were also trounced 6-0, their worst ever loss, by the Russians in the qualifying round.
Ontario and the GTA were well represented on this Canadian team with players from Toronto, Scarborough, Mississauga, Hamilton, Ajax, Parry Sound, Port Perry, Newmarket and more.
The Russians took a couple of undisciplined penalties in the dying minute of the game to nullify their own empty net power play, which eased the tension for Canadian fans at the Ostravar Arena, and the world over.
Canada got lucky late in the game when cleared the puck over the glass, which is normally a penalty but it hit the TSN camera. So although the puck was over the glass the penalty was not called because it hit an arena object.
This is the first time the Russians have failed to defeat Canada when facing them in the final of the World Junior Championship.
The victory marked Canada’s third gold medal in six years at the World Junior Tournament.
The next World Junior tournament in 2020/2021 will be hosted by Alberta.
by Terry Lankstead
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