Redemption; Canada's Brad Marchand goes from zero to hero all in a matter of days
03.01.2008. Panzeri, Allen. The Vancouver Sun

PARDUBICE, Czech Republic - About an hour before Wednesday's quarter-final game against Finland at the world junior hockey championship, Brad Marchand left the Team Canada dressing room, sat on the bench, and watched the Canadian fans gathering on the other side of the ice.

They were already cheering and chanting and waving flags and Marchand couldn't believe what he was seeing. By game time, the Canadian fans made up most of the 5,187 fans in CEZ Arena.

Marchand's father and one of his sisters was among them, but the rest of his family was home in Nova Scotia watching on a new home theatre system.

"When you see something like that, you really see how much pride everyone has in their country," said Marchand, a native of Hammonds Plains, N.S., who plays for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Halifax Mooseheads.

"To have so many people come over and cheer us on is unbelievable. We know this tournament is one of the biggest in the world, especially for our age group, but I don't think we could do any of this if it wasn't for them. We get messages every day from people that we have no idea who they are. People send us letters and notes -- it's unbelievable."

A couple of hours later, Marchand paid them all back -- scoring the deciding goal in Canada's 4-2 win over Finland that sent the Canadians into a semifinal showdown with the U.S. on Friday.

Russia, thanks to a 4-1 victory over the Czechs in the other quarter-final Wednesday, will play the Swedes. Finland and the Czechs will play today for fifth and sixth place.

Four nights earlier, Marchand was the victim of a terrible bounce that set up the winning goal in Sweden's 4-3 win over Canada, giving the Swedes first place in Group A and a bye to the semifinals.

On Wednesday, Marchand was on the good side of a bad bounce as his bank shot from the right circle went off Finnish goalie Harri Sateri, keeping alive Canada's hopes for a fourth straight world junior gold medal.

Ontario Hockey League stars John Tavares, with his fourth goal of the tournament, Steven Stamkos, with his first, and Stefan Legein, into an open net with 30 seconds left, also scored for Canada.

Stamkos also had an assist, as did New Westminster's Kyle Turris, and the two lead the team in scoring with six points apiece. Tavares and Turris are tied for the goal-scoring lead, with four each.

Goalie Steve Mason allowed two goals, both iffy, on 23 shots, while Sateri faced 32 shots.

Marchand, 19, has two goals in the championship, but what's equally important is that he's taken only one minor penalty.

That's quite a contrast to last summer's eight-game junior Super Series against Russia, when he took 24 minutes in penalties in six games before coach Brent Sutter had had enough. Marchand watched the final game in Vancouver in his suit.

In the celebratory picture that appeared in Canadian newspapers after that game, Marchand was in the middle of his teammates, but conspicuous in his street clothes.

He keeps that picture close by, to remind himself.

"The Super Series didn't end the way I wanted it to end," he said. "At the same time it was a great learning experience for myself. I don't think if I hadn't gone through that I'd be the player I am right now."

"I had a real attitude problem before," Marchand added. "I wasn't the person I had to be off the ice, mentally, to be a great player on the ice. I just have [the picture] in my room of what happened, and of the player, the person, I don't want to be."

What Marchand had to curb most was his hot-headedness. It wasn't an issue at last year's junior championship. He had only two penalty minutes and was a model citizen for coach Craig Hartsburg. But after getting the reports of the Super Series from Sutter, Hartsburg had a meeting with Marchand in Calgary before the selection camp started.

"During the camp in Calgary, he was probably one of the best players," said Hartsburg. "And not just on the ice, as far as his play, but off the ice, everything."

Hartsburg was especially happy to see Marchand get the winning goal after being at the centre of the gaffe that led to Tobias Forsberg's winner.

Marchand was, too. It pointed out how quickly fortunes in hockey can turn around.

"It's always a big letdown when you're on the opposite side of a bounce and you give up a goal," he said. "But when you score a game- winning goal like that, it's obviously huge for yourself and the team.

"Sometimes the bounces go my way, sometimes they don't. Usually you see that a lot. When someone makes a mistake like that, a lot of times you see the hockey gods repay him and give him something good."
As it turned out, not a moment too soon.

За 3 место. США - Россия. Голы россиян.
Финал. Швеция - Канада
Финал. Интервью с Марчандом.
Подгруппа А
Канада, Швеция, Чехия, Словакия, Дания
Подгруппа В
Россия, США, Финляндия, Швейцария, Казахстан
За 7-10 места
Слования, Казахстан, Швейцария, Дания

1/4 финала
Канада - Финляндия
Россия - Чехия
1/2 финала
Швеция - Россия
США - Канада
Чехия - Финляндия
США - Россия
Канада - Швеция
Первая страничка турнира
Статистика турнира
Молодежные чемпионаты мира (до 20 лет) 2008 года.
Первая страничка
Дивизион I. Группа А
Дивизион I. Группа B
Дивизион II. Группа А
Дивизион II. Группа B
Дивизион III