After victories in 2005, 2006 and 2007, Canada extends their World U20 Championship to four tonight here in Pardubice, Czech Republic. Contrarily to previous years, however, the Canadian team weren’t the clear favourites for the Gold, as they had the task of beating the tough Team Sweden, who had already beaten them earlier in tournament play. It took over 63 minutes for Team Canada to claim their 3-2 victory, and Sweden did not give it up easily.
|Sweden - Canada 2:3 (0:2, 0:0, 2:0, 0:1)|
|Goals and assists: 46. Carlsson (Alsen, Berglund P.), 60. Larsson - 2. Marchand, 18. Girroux (Marchand, Turris), 64. Halischuk.
Referees: Bulanov (RUS), Šindler (CZE) - Feola (USA), Mášik (SVK).
Powerplay goals: 1:1. Spectators: 7480.
Shots on goal 28:21.
|Sweden: Enroth – Carlsson, Berglund K., Motin, Hedman, Moe, Andersen, Hagelin, Eklund – Miller, Berglund P., Alcen - Figren, Anderson, Svenson Paarjavi - Kempe, Backlund, Lagertrom – Forsberg, Lundh, Larsson.|
|Canada: Mason – Alzner, Doughty, Hickey, Schenn, Pyett, Godfrey, Subban, Boychuk – Marchand, Turris, Giroux - Tavares, Matthias, Halischuk – Gillies, Sutter, Legein – Holzapfel, Stamkos, Simmonds.|
After victories in 2005, 2006 and 2007, Canada extends their World U20 Championship win streak to four tonight here in Pardubice, Czech Republic. Contrarily to previous years, however, the Canadian team weren’t the clear favourites for the Gold, as they had the task of beating the tough Team Sweden, who had already beaten them earlier in tournament play. It took over 63 minutes for Team Canada to claim their 3-2 victory, and Sweden did not give it up easily.
Canada gained confidence early when Brad Marchand beat the talented Jhonas Enroth unassisted, in just over a minute of play. Canada then doubled their lead when Claude Giroux scored with the help of Marchand and Turris at the end of the first period.
The teams played hard through the second and neither team had much room to breathe. The careful balance was broken, however, in the early minutes of the third period, when Jonathan Carlsson finally managed to beat the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, Steve Mason, with the help of Alcen and Berglund. At that moment, the momentum began to shift under Sweden’s wings and the pressure started building.
Only 38 seconds remained however, when Sweden finally struck. With Enroth sitting on the bench, Tomas Larsson found a way past the rock solid Canadian goaltender to bring the Swedish team back to life.
Heading into overtime, it was any man’s game. One goal decided the fate of both teams, one goal decided the team that would be awarded the Gold medal and the championship.
At 3:36 of the first overtime period, Matt Halischuk scored the most important goal of his young career to give the thousands of Canadian fans present here in Pardubice, and many more back home in Canada and across the world what they have been dreaming of since the beginning of this tournament.
“We were all nervous heading into the overtime period. It was heartbreaking letting that goal in late but we built up confidence in the dressing room after and we just came out hard in overtime and that’s why we won,” said Canadian forward Drew Doughty following the game.“It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s something we’ve dreamt about since we were little kids. It’s one of the best times of my life and that’s for sure.”
“At the end of the second it should have been 3-0 but it wasn`t and the Swedes turned their game up a notch and it was real hard for us to stay with them speed wise. It wasn`t how we wanted the end of the third period to go but for two periods we were great. We regrouped and in overtime we found a way,” said Canadian head coach Craig Hartsburg.
“The guys in the locker room are my winners anyway. They gave a strong effort and they were close to reaching their goal,” said Swedish head coach Par Marts about his players.
“The Canadians worked hard and we tried to work harder, but they came out with the goal in the end,” said Magnus Svensson Paajarvi of Team Sweden.
Accompanying the Canadian team who claimed the Gold medal and Sweden who was awarded Silver was Team Russia who beat the USA earlier today to take their spot as the Bronze medal winners.
Steve Mason of Canada was awarded both Best Goalkeeper and Most Valuable Player of the tournament by the IIHF, with fellow Canadian Drew Doughty being named Best Defenseman. Viktor Tikhonov of Team Russia was declared the tournament’s Best Forward.
Craig Hartsburg (coach of Canada): "We had such as great start to the game. The kids were ready and we did a lot of the things we wanted to do. The biggest problem is just that we didn`t score enough. At the end of the second it should have been 3-0 but it wasn`t and the Swedes turned their game up a notch that was real hard for us to stay with speed wise. It wasn`t how we wanted the end of the third period to go but for two periods we were great. We regrouped and in overtime we found a way."
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