2008 world junior championship
Canada v. Sweden for gold
Shoving aside the Americans felt good, but the big motivation for the Canadian junior team Friday was to get another shot at Sweden and gold.Consider this an open thread, for anyone taking in this game who wants to comment. I may have some thoughts, also, as we go along.
The 4-3 loss to Sweden in the round robin a week ago, in which the Canadians suffered a third-period meltdown and gave up four goals in the final 15 minutes, is Canada's only blemish at the 2008 world under-20 hockey championship.
UPDATE Russia wins the bronze-medal game, 4-2 over the United States. It always bugs me to see teams not push hard in that third-place game, but the Russians played great and had a strong tournament.
They only narrowly lost to Sweden (in overtime) in the semi-finals, and very well could have been facing Canada in this game.
UPDATE With only one period to go, Canada's got a 2-0 lead and seems a fairly good bet to hang on here and win a fourth consecutive gold.
Of course, this is the exact same spot they were in during the round robin against Sweden, and the Canadians ended up with a loss, so anything can happen.
UPDATE Sweden ties things up with just 38 seconds left in the game, and we're heading to overtime.
UPDATE Toronto native Matt Halischuk scores the winner early in overtime after a crease-crashing play.
This is the fourth gold in a row, and 10th consecutive medal, for Canada, but for Sweden the silver marks that country's first medal in this tournament in 12 years.
The world juniors will be in Canada three of the next four years, and it's going to be awfully tough to knock them from their perch.
UPDATE Here are the official award winners:
Top goaltender: Steve Mason (Canada)
Top defenceman: Drew Doughty (Canada)
Top forward: Viktor Tikhonov (Russia)
MVP: Steve Mason (Canada)
UPDATE Anyone figure out why Team Canada keeps kissing each other?