Recap of the IIHF World Junior Championship game
By Michael Sopow, Sports Reporter
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship gold-medal game took place in Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on January 5, with Canada playing against Russia.
Before the puck dropped there was a tense atmosphere, with pushing and shoving occurring between players prior to the game’s start.
Twenty-three seconds into the first period, forward Anthony Duclair secured Team Canada’s first goal of the game with a swiftly placed shot to the top corner of the net, immediately outmatching Russian goaltender Igor Shestyorkin. No more then three minutes later, Canada’s second goal was scored by Ottawa Senators’ prospect Nick Paul, giving Team Canada a two-goal lead over the Russians and a considerable boost of confidence.
In response, the Russians proceeded to switch goaltenders by swapping Shestyorkin for Ilya Sorokin. With 10:40 remaining in the first period, Dmitri Yudin managed to put Russia on the scoreboard.
In the final moments of the first period, Russia applied some vigorous offensive pressure to Canada’s goaltender, Zachary Fucale, in an attempt to level the game, but ultimately proved unsuccessful.
With five minutes gone in the second period, 17-year-old Connor McDavid scored Canada’s third goal off of a breakaway—and a nice pass from Josh Morrissey—putting Canada up by two goals.
Two minutes later, Canada went on to score another goal, and then scored once again.
Although the score sat 5 to 1 in Canada’s favour, with six minutes remaining in the second period, Russia was able to score three goals—two within 32 seconds of each other—and bring the score back to a one-goal game.
Throughout the third period there were many close calls for both teams. Russia was looking to equalize, and Canada was looking for some much needed insurance. Despite valiant efforts and many saves by both goalies, Canada came out victorious with a score of 5-4 in their favour.
In a statement following Canada’s win at the championship, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, “On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to congratulate our junior men’s hockey team on their incredible achievement at this year’s World Junior Hockey Championship. I would also like to extend my congratulations to the team’s coaches and organizers, who played a pivotal role in this success.”