Day: January 5, 2023

Guenther’s golden goal in OT helps Canada down Czech Republic, capturing 2nd straight WJHC title

Canada’s Dylan Guenther, center, celebrates his power-play goal with teammates during the first period of the gold-medal game against the Czech Republic at the world junior hockey championship on Thursday in Halifax.

Source: The Canadian Press

Canada got the revenge it desperately craved β€” and is golden again at the world junior hockey championship.

Dylan Guenther scored his second goal of the night at 6:22 of overtime as the tournament hosts survived a blown 2-0 lead in the third period to defeat the Czech Republic 3-2 in the final of the world junior hockey championship Thursday in Halifax.

The Arizona Coyotes forward took a pass from Joshua Roy on a 2-on-1 to give his country its 20th title at the men’s under-20 event.

Shane Wright, on his 19th birthday, had the other goal for Canada. Thomas Milic made 24 saves.

Canada is the first team to repeat since the country won five straight gold medals between 2005 and 2009 after Connor Bedard and seven other returnees also topped the pandemic-delayed summer showcase in Edmonton.

Bedard was named tournament MVP.

Jiri Kulich and Jakub Kos replied for the Czech Republic. Tomas Suchanek stopped 35 shots.

The Czechs beat a disjointed Canada for the first time in 3,285 days when they picked up what was at the time a stunning 5-2 victory on December. 26th, and appeared in the final for the first time since their only gold-medal triumphs in 2000 and 2001.

The Czech Republic finished fourth in the summer and earned its first medal since 2005. The United States picked up a wild 8-7 overtime victory against Sweden to take bronze earlier on Thursday.

Bedard, the Canadian phenom who rewrote page after page of both tournament and national records book in Halifax, was held off the scoresheet Thursday.

It didn’t matter.

The Czechs came close inside an ear-splitting Scotiabank Centre midway through the first period when Gabriel Szturc hit the crossbar.

Unhappy with the Czech Republic’s exuberant celebrations following its Boxing Day victory, the Canadians made good on their first power play.

Guenther, one of three NHLers loaned to the national team for the tournament along with Wright and Brandt Clarke, blasted a shot bar down for his sixth of the tournament at 12:41 before the familiar strains of “Heave Away” by The Fables rang around the rink washed in red and white.

Milic, who made 43 saves in a 6-2 semifinal victory over the Americans, was excellent again as the period wore on with stops on Kulich and Martin Rysavy.

Caedan Bankier nearly made it 2-0 for Canada early in the second on a short-handed breakaway, but the goal was waved off for goalie interference after he crashed into Suchanek.

The Czech netminder then made big stops on Zack Ostapchuk and Logan Stankoven on separate one-on-one sequences before Wright struck.

The No. 4 pick in last summer’s NHL draft, who had an up-and-down tournament until Thursday, grabbed the puck in the neutral zone and fought off a defender before stepping past two more and roofing a backhand upstairs on the shortside for his fourth at 4:35.

Wright watched every world junior final on his birthday growing up, and the crowd responded after his goal by singing “Happy Birthday” for the Canadian captain.

Brennan Othmann, who turned 20 on Thursday, nearly made it 3-0, but Suchanek made to massive pad stops on a man advantage.

Wright nearly scored on a 2-on-1 midway through the third on a chance that would have sealed it, but the Czechs finally got on the board with 7:30 seconds left in regulation when Kulich pop a rebound off the post home.

Jakub Kos then tied it to stun the Canadians and the partisan crowd just 54 seconds later after Clarke couldn’t clear the puck twice from his own zone to force the extra period.

Guenther then etched his name in world junior lore.

Projected to go No. 1 at the 2023 NHL draft, Bedard set a boatload of records in the Maritimes.

The scintillating 17-year-old from North Vancouver, B.C., Bedard owns the national record with 23 all-time points and 17 all-time goals at the world juniors.

Bedard also established a new mark for the most points by a Canadian in a single tournament with 23, owns the national record with 14 assists at one event, and registered the most points by a player aged 18 or younger.

Bedard’s 19 assists all-time are one short of the national mark held by Ryan Ellis, while he was a point shy of tying Markus Naslund and Raimo Helminen for the second-most by a player from any country at a tournament.

He’s also the first player in history to score four goals twice β€” doing it against Austria this summer and again in Halifax.

Canada beat Slovakia 4-3 in overtime in the quarterfinals on Bedard’s jaw-dropping solo effort before roaring back from a two-goal deficit to defeat the United States in the semis.

The Czechs walloped Switzerland in the quarters and scored late in regulation to set up a 2-1 OT victory against Sweden before falling to the pre-tournament favorite’s in the final.

Lucius completes hat trick in OT as U.S. beats Sweden for world junior bronze

The American team poses with their bronze medals following their overtime win over Sweden on Thursday at the world junior hockey championship in Halifax.

Source: The Canadian Press

Chaz Lucius completed a hat trick in overtime as the United States beat Sweden 8-7 in a wild bronze-medal game Thursday at the world junior hockey championship in Halifax.

The Winnipeg Jets prospect scored in the three-on-three sudden-death period when he flipped a backhand over Swedish goaltender Carl Lindbom.

Lindbom had stopped an initial chance from Lane Hutson, but the rebound went unclaimed until Lucius swept in and clinched a game that saw the U.S., which was coming off a 6-2 loss to Canada in a semifinal on Wednesday, give up multiple leads before finally prevailing.

“We were not really happy with losing Canada. But it is what it is and right when we got out of the locker room [Wednesday], we said, ‘You know what? We’ve have you got a medal [on the line],” U.S. captain Luke Hughes said.

“It’s really important for USA Hockey. It’s really important for us as a team. We all came together and just focused on playing 60 minutes and just leaving it all out there.”

Cutter Gauthier had two goals for the Americans, who have won a medal in six of the last eight world juniors. Logan Cooley, Ryan Ufko and Hughes also scored.

“It’s not the game we want to be in,” Lucius said. “But overall it’s a really memorable experience.”

Filip Bystedt scored twice, including a tying goal with 21 seconds remaining in regulation, and added an assist for Sweden. Oskar Pettersson, Leo Carlsson, Milton Oscarson, Liam Ohgren and Noah Ostlund had the other goals for Sweden.

It was a second heartbreaking overtime loss for the Swedes in as many days in Halifax after dropping a 2-1 semifinal decision to the Czech Republic on Wednesday.

Kaidan Mbereko picked up the win in goal for the U.S. after stopping 14 of 16 shots in the third period and overtime. He replaced Trey Augustine, who gave up five goals on 20 shots over the first 40 minutes.

Lindbom made 28 saves on 36 shots.

Cooley opened the scoring just under three minutes into the game. It was the seventh goal of the tournament for the third-overall selection by the Arizona Coyotes at the 2022 NHL draft.

A low-scoring first period gave way to a chaotic second that saw the United States build a two-goal lead three times only to come out of the period tied 5-5.

Ufko put the Americans up 2-0 with a power-play goal in the first two minutes of the period before Bystedt got Sweden on the board less than two minutes later.

Lucius, with his first of the game, restored the Americans’ two-goal lead until Sweden tied it with goals just over two minutes apart from Pettersson and Carlsson.

Once again, the Americans surged ahead on goals from Gauthier and Lucius. But the Swedes replied with another quick pair as Oscarson and Ohgren scored in the final seconds of the period.

Ostlund scored four minutes into the third to put Sweden up 6-5, but the Swedes’ only lead of the game lasted just four minutes 17 seconds. After being knocked to the ice, Hughes shovelled the puck at the net on his knees and beat a surprised Lindbom.

“We’re not losing this game,” Hughes yelled at the players on the U.S. bench while celebrating the goal.

Gauthier appeared to have won the game with a power-play goal 97 seconds from the end of regulation as he tucked the puck under a sprawling Lindbom.

The goal survived a lengthy review, much to the relief of the Americans. The U.S. had two goals disallowed in a 6-2 semifinal loss to Canada on Wednesday.

The Swedes would not go quietly. Bystedt snapped the puck past Mbereko with 21 second left as the U.S. surrendered a lead for the third time in the game.

American forward Tyler Boucher missed the game with an injury and was replaced by Noah Laba.

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