Mission accomplished; Canada pounds Russia to take the gold Juniors claim first world title since '97
05.01.2005. Cox, Damien. Toronto Star
John Muckler, a white-thatched, old-style hockey man who has seen 70 Canadian winters, is not one prone to hyperbole.
So when he loads up for a whopper of a compliment, you listen.
"Awesome team," said the Ottawa Senators' general manager after two
periods into Canada's 6-1 demolition of Russia last night. "The best
There is, really, no argument.
Of the three Canadian national junior teams which have soared through
this world junior hockey championships unbeaten and untied, the 2005
version that ran the table to win gold in the Red River Valley should
go down as the greatest.
Time will only tell if the 23 players on this year's roster will go on
to the same quality of professional careers as the members of the 1995
squad that won gold in Red Deer, Alta., a team generally regarded until
now as the finest in the history of the national team program.
But this year's team was, without question, more dominant than the Red
Deer champs in returning the world junior title to Canada for the first
time since 1997.
"We talked about striving for perfection," said head coach Brent Sutter. "That's what they did every day."
For starters, Team Canada '05 never trailed in any game. In six games,
Sutter's team scored 41 goals and allowed only seven, none of them at
even strength after the third period of the tournament opener.
No team came closer than two goals, rivals like Finland and Sweden were
left shell-shocked and the utter destruction of a very good Russian
team that included top-flight forwards Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeny
Malkin put a punctuation point on the punishing and skilful collection
of manpower that Team Canada assembled with the assistance of the
"I think the Canadian people must be very proud of their team," said a
sombre Ovechkin, who injured his right shoulder five minutes into the
second period, played one more shift and did not play in the third.
Ovechkin was hit hard at least five times, while Malkin was a rumour
most of the night after being stoned by Canadian goalie Jeff Glass
during a Russian power play five minutes into the game.
Ovechkin had suggested on Monday that while Canada had strong forwards and defenceman, Glass was a question mark.
"I wanted to let my play speak for itself and I think it did," said
Glass. "Now (Ovechkin) is left with nothing. You say stuff like that,
it's going to come back and bite you in the butt."
Winger Ryan Getzlaf stunned the Russians with a slapshot goal with the
game only 51 seconds old, and a modest 2-1 Canadian lead after one
period ballooned to 6-1 by the second intermission.
In the third, the dispirited Russians were nothing like the stylish and
cocky group that had taunted the Americans at the end of Sunday's
The third period took only 27 minutes to play, as though the Russian
bus was already running outside in the frigid North Dakota air.
The raucous crowd, populated mostly by exuberant Canadians from
Winnipeg and parts beyond, gave Sutter's team an added advantage.
"To have that much support when you're not even at home was unbelievable," said Getzlaf.
"People spent a lot of money to come and watch us play. It felt like a home game every time we stepped on the ice."
The Czech Republic won the bronze medal yesterday afternoon, beating
the defending champion U.S. 3-2 in an overtime thriller on Petr Vrana's
The defeat prevented the Americans from winning back-to-back medals at
the world juniors for the first time, while the Czechs won their first
medal since capturing gold in 2001 in Moscow.
At the bottom end of the tournament, Belarus, which vanquished the U.S.
in a stunning upset but didn't register another victory, will be
relegated to the World B Pool along with Germany and replaced by Norway
and Latvia for next year's tourney in Vancouver.
In the gold medal game, a goal by Russian defenceman Alexei Emelin made
it 2-1 for Canada after 20 minutes, but when Jeff Carter's weak,
bad-angle shot somehow bounced into the Russian net in the fourth
minute of the second to make it 3-1, it sucked the life out of the
Goals by tourney MVP Patrice Bergeron, winger Anthony Stewart and the
tourney's top defenceman, Dion Phaneuf, finished off the Canadian
scoring. Ovechkin had one shot, Malkin had three and the entire Russian
squad managed only 19 drives on Glass.
"They played an amazing game," said Russian head coach Sergei Gersonski.
"They deserved to win the gold. The best team won."
The gold medal was the 11th for Canada's junior program, tying the
former Soviet Union for the most first-place finishes in the history of
Russia, meanwhile, has won three more golds, while the team that began
the 1992 tournament as the Soviets but ended it as the Commonwealth of
Independent States has one more gold.
Первая страничка молодежных чемпионатов мира 2005 года
|Подгруппа А - подробнее
США, Россия, Чехия, Швейцария, Белоруссия
|Подгруппа В - подробнее
Канада, Финляндия, Швеция, Словакия. Германия
|За 7-10 места - подробнее
Словакия, Швейцария, Белоруссия, Германия
|1/4 финала - подробнее
Чехия - Финляндия
Швеция - США
|1/2 финала - подробнее
Канада - Чехия
Россия - США
|Финал - подробнее
За 5 место. Швеция - Финляндия
За 3 место. Чехия - США
За 1 место. Россия - Канада.