Canada survives shootout: Beats U.S. 2-1; Seven rounds of drama needed to seal comeback
04.01.2007. Petrie, Michael. The Gazette
Down on his knees at the Canadian bench, Andrew Cogliano could
not pry his hands from his eyes as his hockey team moved one step
closer to its third- straight world junior gold medal yesterday.
Ditto for Luc Bourdon, who buried his chin in his chest and waited to hear a reaction from his bench.
"The first shot I watched, they scored," said Bourdon, a Canadian defenceman. "So I just put my head down."
Ironic that during the biggest game of their lives, some members of Team Canada couldn't bear to watch.
Seven rounds of shoot-out drama were needed to determine a winner of
the world junior hockey semifinal between Canada and the United States.
They were tied 1-1 after regulation time and 10 minutes of sudden-death
"I've never been through anything like that," head coach Craig Hartsburg said. "Ever."
Jonathan Toews potted three shootout goals before Carey Price made the
game-clinching save on Peter Mueller to send Canada through to
tomorrow's final against Russia, which beat Sweden 4-2.
"I can't even put it into words," Price said. "I've never been so
nervous before. I don't usually get nervous playing hockey but that was
With the triumph, Canada will play for its third gold medal in a row.
Canada also won in Vancouver and Grand Forks, N.D.
A win over Russia also would be its 18th in a row, which would match the famed Canadian run from 1994 to 1997.
But this opportunity didn't come easy.
After a scoreless opening period, the United States landed a blow when
Canadian forward Sam Gagner was serving a hooking penalty, his fourth
minor of the tourney in limited ice time.
U.S. captain Taylor Chorney took a pass from Erik Johnson and sent the
puck toward Canada's net, hoping to find Nathan Gerbe for a redirect.
Instead, the pass hit defenceman Marc Staal's skate and deflected past
Playing a terrific defensive game, the Americans didn't allow many
scoring chances until their ninth shorthanded situation, in the third
That's when Bourdon one-timed a pass from Kris Russell past U.S. netminder Jeff Frazee.
"It was about time that we scored," Bourdon said. "I had a great screen
in front of the net, so I knew if I just put the puck on the net, it
would find its way in."
As time was about to expire in regulation time, Canadian checker
Marc-Andre Cliche split defenceman Jack Johnson and Kyle Lawson, and
could have won the game, but lost the puck at the last second.
It appeared the Americans would win in overtime after Kristopher Letang
was penalized for getting his stick in the face of a U.S. player. The
U.S. spent nearly two minutes in the Canadian zone, peppering Price.
"It was the longest two minutes of my life," said Letang, the Canadian
captain. "I was feeling very bad. I didn't want to be in the box when
Price's heroics on that penalty kill gave Canada a chance for the shootout - an affair that tested everyone's nerves.
After Canadian Steve Downie and American Patrick Kane were stopped on
the first attempts, the next four shooters scored - Little, Mueller,
Toews and then Jack Johnson.
Following three rounds, teams could choose anyone to shoot repeatedly
and Little got the first call. He and Kane were stopped before Toews,
Mueller, Cogliano and Johnson scored to force a seventh round.
Soon after, Toews and Price became heroes.
"We never gave up for one second," Toews said. "Sometimes it wasn't pretty, but we got it done.
"I think I've practised that (shootout scenario) a few times in my
head, back in my backyard rink on Sloane Crescent (in Winnipeg). So it
was basically a dream come true tonight."