2021 u18wc may 06 can gold team shot

U18 Worlds Recap: Canada 5, Russia 3

Two more goals from Shane Wright and 31 saves from Benjamin Gaudreau put Canada on top of the U18 hockey world for the first time since 2013

Jamie Umbach
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May 6, 2021
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GAME STATS: CANADA 5, RUSSIA 3

FRISCO, Texas – Put the gold medal and a perfect tournament for Canada on ice.

It wasn’t without adversity, but in the end, that made it so much sweeter for one of the best teams Canada has ever assembled at this level.

Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team won its fourth gold medal and first since 2013 at the IIHF U18 World Championship on Thursday night, defeating Russia 5-3 in another classic for the ages between these two powerhouse hockey nations.

Shane Wright (Burlington, Ont./Kingston, OHL) posted two goals, setting the single-tournament Canadian record with nine, despite missing two games during the preliminary round.

He also added an assist and finished even with Connor Bedard (North Vancouver, B.C./Regina, WHL) – who had a goal and a helper – atop the Canadian scoring chart with 14 points, one off Canada’s all-time record of 15 points (set by Tyson Jost in 2016).

Canada overcame a pair of one-goal deficits in the opening frame after having not trailed at any point in the tournament, taking a 2-2 tie into the second period where Brennan Othmann (Pickering, Ont./Flint, OHL) and Logan Stankoven (Kamloops, B.C./Kamloops, WHL) put Canada ahead for good.

Wright took a feed from Bedard in the dying seconds and walked his second of the game into the empty net to seal the gold for Canada, topped the podium without a blemish on its perfect 7-0 record.

Benjamin Gaudreau (Corbeil, Ont./Sarnia, OHL) was brilliant in goal again for Canada, making 31 saves and outduelling tough competition at the other end in Sergei Ivanov, who made 29 stops.

Russia won the discipline battle, but its high-powered power play, starring tournament MVP Matvei Michkov, could only muster one goal on five power plays. Canada went 1-for-3 with the man advantage.

The highly-anticipated final lived up to the hype in the opening minutes when Gaudreau was called into action early, using his mask to stop Russia’s first shot of the game that came from a dangerous open look in the slot.

Moments later, defenceman Nolan Allan (Davidson, Sask./Prince Albert, WHL) set the physical tone with a crunching check on Nikita Chibrinkov that sent the Russian captain into Canada’s bench.

But soon after, Canada was in uncharted territory trailing on the scoreboard for the first time in Texas.

Michkov was in the right spot to collect a bouncing puck inside the blueline and deposit his tournament-leading 12th goal and open the scoring for Russia just over five minutes into the first frame.

But a final billed as a showcase between the tournament’s two best offences and the tournament’s two youngest talents in Michkov and Bedard was bound to have more fireworks.

Bedard’s first opportunity to answer for Canada on a penalty shot was stopped, but it made his equalizer a minute-and-a-half later that much sweeter. The 15-year-old put the puck to his backhand on the rush and elevated his effort top shelf past Ivanov to tie the game with his seventh goal.

Dmitri Buchelnikov had Russia poised to take a one-goal lead into the first intermission when the forward put Russia back ahead, but Wright was on target during Canada’s first man advantage to snap his seventh tally through traffic from his usual spot at the top of the right circle just 35 seconds from the intermission.

Canada carried momentum into the second period and took the lead when Othmann darted in off the right wing and wired a sharp-angle shot on the short side past Ivanov.

The steady stream of snipes didn’t stop there. Stankoven was next two minutes from the end of the second period, dragging the puck and wiring one into the top corner on the rush after Allan delivered the drop pass just inside the blueline.

Midway through the third period, Canada seemed to lose focus on a scramble around Gaudreau’s crease that ended with Vladimir Grudinin beating the netminder from between the circles to make it a 4-3 game and set the stage for a stressful finish.

The Russians looked determined, but a late surge with the goalie pulled in the offensive zone opened up ice for Bedard to find Wright on an uncontested breakaway to seal the gold medal for Canada.

Gaudreau was a deserving recipient of Top Goaltender honours after leading all netminders in wins (five), goals-against average (2.20) and save percentage (.919), while Bedard joined Brandt Clarke (Ottawa, Ont./Barrie, OHL) on the media all-star team.

For more information:

Dominick Saillant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
514-895-9706
[email protected]

 

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
[email protected]

 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
[email protected]

 

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2021 WPHC: CAN 8 – KOR 0 (Preliminary)
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2021 WPHC: CAN 2 – USA 1 (Preliminary)
Power-play goals from James Dunn and Tyler McGregor were enough to lead Canada past the U.S. 2-1 in its worlds opener.
2021 MWC: CAN 3 – FIN 2 OT (Gold Medal)
Paul was the overtime hero to give Canada the gold medal in Riga.
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