Canada beats Russia 5-4 for record 16th world junior title
TORONTO (AP) Arizona Coyotes prospect Max Domi helped lead Canada to its record 16th world junior hockey title and first since 2009, scoring a goal and adding two assists in a 5-4 victory over Russia on Monday night.
”That was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we took advantage of it,” Domi said about winning at home.
Anthony Duclair, Nick Paul, Connor McDavid and Sam Reinhart also scored to stake Canada to a 5-1 lead. Dmitri Yudin, Ivan Barbashev, Sergey Tolchinsky and Nikolai Goldobin scored for Russia.
Zach Fucale made 26 saves for Canada.
Duclair scored 23 second into the game and Paul made it 2-0 at 2:32, chasing Russian goalie Igor Shestyorkin. Yudin scored for Russia midway through the first.
McDavid, the Erie Otters star expected to the top pick in the NHL draft, made it 3-1 early in the second, and Domi and Reinhart increased the lead to 5-1.
Russia countered with three goals – two on power plays – in a 3:16 span.
”We were able to brush it off,” McDavid said. ”We’re world junior champions. It’s joy. Right now, this is just absolute joy.”
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in the crowd of 19,014 at Air Canada Centre.
”Congratulations to TeamCanada on their outstanding performance tonight. You’ve made your country extremely proud,” Harper tweeted after the victory.
Russia won the last of its 13 titles – nine as the Soviet Union – in 2011.
”It was 5-4,” Goldobin said. ”Just one goal. And we had the whole third period to score. We started pretty badly. We allowed two goals, weak goals. But we have a great team.”
In the third-place game, Slovakia beat Sweden 4-2.
In the semifinals Sunday, Canada beat Slovakia 5-1 and Russia topped Sweden 4-1.
Pavol Skalicky broke a tie on a power play early in the third period for Slovakia.
Slovakia started the final period on a 5-minute power play after Julius Bergman received a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct for felling Patrik Koys at the end of the second.
”I think the Swedes were disappointed from yesterday’s game and we wanted to win today a little more,” Slovak goalie Denis Godla said.
Godla made 26 saves to help Slovakia win its second medal after also finishing third in 1999.
”He’s our hero. He’s a rock star,” forward Samuel Petras said Godla.
David Soltes, Mislav Rosandic and Koys – into an empty net in the final minute- also scored.
”This is like history,” Soltes said. ”We will be happy forever.”
Soltes and Rosandic scored in a 39-second span early in the first period, and William Nylander and Jens Looke tied it for Sweden in the period.
”It feels terrible right now,” Swedish defenseman Gustav Forsling said. ”If we played our best hockey, we’d beat them every day of the week. So, it’s not good.”