Canada is golden once more at the world junior hockey championship.
Akil Thomas scored with Three:58 left within the third interval to cap a livid comeback and safe a Four-Three victory for the nation’s 18th title at the annual under-20 match.
The Los Angeles Kings prospect stretched to seize a free puck earlier than roofing a backhand for his first objective of the occasion previous Amir Miftakhov to ship Ostravar Arena right into a frenzy.
Connor McMichael, with a objective and an help, Dylan Cozens and Barrett Hayton, in a gutsy return from harm, supplied the remainder of the offence for Canada.
Joel Hofer, who wasn’t on Hockey Canada’s radar earlier than the autumn and began the occasion because the backup, received the win, whereas Alexis Lafreniere and Calen Addison every added two assists.
Grigori Denisenko, with a objective and an help, Nikita Alexandrov and Maxim Sorkin replied for the Russians, who’ve now misplaced 4 finals since final profitable gold in 2011. Miftakhov took the loss in objective.
Hayton, who entered Sunday tied for the match’s total scoring lead with 11 factors, harm is left his shoulder in Saturday’s 5-Zero drubbing of Finland, however was good to go towards Russia.
Bowen Byram, in the meantime, recovered from an sickness that stored the defenceman sidelined for the semifinals.
Russia superior to the ultimate because of 5-Four time beyond regulation victory towards Sweden, which beat Finland Three-2 for bronze earlier Sunday.
Canada, which had outscored opponents 22-5 over its final 4 video games, fell behind Three-1 at eight:46 of the third when Sorkin roofed a shot upstairs.
But the Canadians responded 34 seconds later when Addison’s level shot went in off McMichael’s skate for his fifth of the match.
Canada went again on the facility play with below 9 minutes to go, and Hayton fired his sixth upstairs simply 2:01 later earlier than Akil scored to cap a three-goal flurry in six minutes 42 seconds.
The Canadians weren’t out of the woods, nevertheless, and needed to combat off a 6-on-Four man benefit with below two minutes to go.
But the Russians have been whistled for interference, forcing Miftakhov again into his objective.
Russia imploded and took one other penalty for enjoying with a damaged stick as Canada ran out the clock with a 5-on-Three man benefit of its personal earlier than spilling off the bench in celebration.
After a scoreless penalty-filled first interval the place Canada killed of 4 Russian energy performs, Alexandrov lastly related on his group’s sixth man benefit when he tipped Yegor
Zamula’s level shot by means of Hofer’s five-hole for his second at 9:37 of the second.
The Canadians responded at 11:01 after two Russian gamers have been whistled for infractions on the identical play. Lafreniere wheeled into the excessive slot that Miftakhov stopped, however Cozens was there to bang dwelling his second.
Canada stayed on the facility play, with Joe Veleno coming shut on a one-timer. Liam Foudy was then robbed on a 2-on-1 with the groups again at even energy.
Russia went again in entrance 2-1 at 5:14 left within the interval when Alexander Romanov’s preliminary shot from the purpose rattled Hofer’s masks. The netminder couldn’t management the rebound, and Denisenko received two whacks at the free puck to attain his third.
Canada’s Jacob Bernard-Docker rocked Kirill Marachenko at the blue line late within the interval, and the tough stuff continued at the buzzer when Zamula punched Hayton to place his group down a person heading to the third.
Russia killed that one off, and Miftahkov stopped McMichael on a breakaway moments later to arrange the wild end.
Canada earned its first medal in Europe since profitable gold in 2008 when the Czech Republic final hosted. The Canadians completed a disappointing sixth on dwelling soil final 12 months after they have been upset by Finland within the quarters.
The international locations have supplied a number of the match’s most memorable moments — the 2005 gold-medal recreation that includes Canada’s jam-packed roster of future NHL stars, Jordan Eberle’s late equalizer within the 2009 semis and Russia’s livid comeback from down Three-Zero within the third interval to win the 2011 occasion — and Sunday didn’t disappoint.
Sporting its black third jerseys for a fourth straight recreation, Foudy hit the submit lower than a minute right into a fast-paced, high-intensity first interval earlier than Canada received into some severe penalty hassle.
Veleno, Jared McIsaac, Ty Smith and Kevin Bahl every hung out within the field in a tightly-called opening 20 minutes, however Canada managed to kill off all 4 because of the calm, cool Hofer and a few key blocked photographs.
Canada battled adversity all through the occasion, together with an embarrassing 6-Zero loss to Russia within the preliminary spherical, the nationwide group’s worst defeat within the match’s 44-year historical past.
That recreation was a catastrophe on a lot of ranges, however the teenage roster with the burden of a nation’s expectation on their collective shoulders rebounded in spectacular trend.
The Canadians misplaced Lafreniere — its star winger and projected No. 1 decide at the 2020 NHL draft — to a knee harm, needed to take care of the fallout of Hayton forgetting to take away his helmet throughout Russia’s anthem, and a one-game suspension handed to Veleno, its workhorse centre, for a head-butting incident.