Canada will try to end a five-year drought at the world junior championship in Montreal and Toronto. Here are 10 memorable Canadian moments from past tournaments:
A GOLDEN TURN OF EVENTS
The Canadians needed a lot of help to win gold in 1990 – and they got it. Back when the format was a straight round robin, Canada had to beat Czechoslovakia and hope that Sweden could hold the Soviet Union to a tie. Canada was up 2-1 on the Czechs when the players got word that the Swedes had come back from a two-goal deficit to draw the Soviets 5-5. Both results stood and Canada brought home gold.
HALISCHUK’S OT HEROICS
Sweden tied the 2008 gold-medal game against Canada late in regulation to force overtime. The Canadians appeared to be on the ropes until Matt Halischuk stepped up in the extra period, swatting home a shot in front to give his country its fourth straight world junior title.
THE PUNCH-UP AT PIESTANY
A bench-clearing brawl in the final game of the 1987 tournament between Canada and the Soviet Union in Piestany, Czechoslovakia, resulted in the disqualification of both countries. Canada was up 4-2 in the second period when the melee broke out. Officials turned off the lights in the arena to try to stop the fighting that went on for 20 minutes before the game was abandoned. The Soviets had already been eliminated from medal contention, but the disqualification cost Canada at least a bronze.
OWN GOAL DISASTER
Canada was up 3-2 in the third period of the 2004 gold-medal game against the United States when disaster struck. After Ryan Kesler had tied it for the Americans, Canadian goalie Marc-Andre Fleury cleared a puck off a teammate and into his own net to hand the U.S. the lead and the gold medal.
HAT TRICK HEROICS
Canada was down 3-0 to the United States less than eight minutes into a memorable New Year’s Eve round-robin finale in Ottawa in 2009 when John Tavares took over. He scored goals 48 seconds apart to bring the score to 3-2 before Jordan Eberle added another a few minutes later to send the teams to the locker-rooms tied 3-3 after 20 minutes. Canada would go on to win 7-4, with Tavares completing his hat trick into an empty net.
SLANEY SENDS SASKATOON INTO A FRENZY
Canada needed to win its final round-robin game in 1991 to claim gold on home soil. Tied 2-2 with the Soviet Union in the third, John Slaney grabbed a loose puck off the boards a ripped a shot from the point to send the crowd in Saskatoon into a frenzy and Canada to the top of the podium.
DEVEREAUX SPARKS DRIVE FOR FIVE
Canada was down 2-1 to Russia in the semifinals at the 1997 tournament when Boyd Devereaux scored twice in the third to send his team to the final. Devereaux then opened the scoring in a 2-0 victory over the United States as Canada won its fifth straight gold medal.
Canada led Russia 3-0 after two periods in the 2011 final in Buffalo, N.Y., when things went completely off the rails. Russia stunned Canada with five straight goals in the third period to win gold, a bitterly disappointing result that came a year after lost another final in overtime to the United States.
TOEWS’ SHOOTOUT MAGIC
Jonathan Toews introduced himself to the hockey world at the 2007 tournament. Canada and the United States were tied 1-1 after regulation and overtime in the semifinals. After the first three shooters went for each team, players were allowed shoot again. Toews scored on all three of his attempts for Canada, which eventually beat the U.S. 2-1 before downing Russia for gold.
Canada trailed Russia 5-4 late in their 2009 semifinal in Ottawa when Jordan Eberle scored arguably the most memorable goals in tournament history. In a furious final minute of action, the puck found its way to the front to Eberle, who scored on a backhand to tie it with just 5.4 seconds to go in regulation. Overtime solved nothing, but Eberle scored the shootout winner for Canada, which would go on to thump Sweden 5-1 in the final. It marked the second time Canada had won five straight world junior titles, and is the last time the country won gold.