Хроника Хоккея


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 ever."

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 locked-out NHL.

"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 semifinal victory.

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 breakaway winner.

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 squad.

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 the event.

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. 
Страничка статистики

Молодежные чемпионаты мира (до 20 лет) 2005 года.