We made it! The U18 Men’s World Hockey Championships in Texas have come to a close. The final day of the tournament had two fantastic games so let’s get to the round-up.
The first game of the day was the bronze medal game between Finland and Sweden. The Swedes came into this game off a big semi-final loss to Canada but they didn’t let it get them down ahead of this one.
Isak Rosen and Simon Robertsson each scored once in the first period to give Sweden a 2-0 lead after one period of play. At the beginning of the second period Simon Edvinsson and Albert Sjoberg brought Sweden’s goal total to four. Finland stayed with them but couldn’t seem to capitalize on any chances. In the third period, Oliver Moberg added another for Sweden. Finland tried to make a final push but they were met with three more Swedish goals. These came from Noah Hasa, Noah Ostlund and Rosen. Swedish goaltender, Carl Lindbom made 35 saves in the shutout. Sweden took home the bronze medal with a final score of 8-0 over Finland.
The game of the day was the long-awaited matchup between Canada and Russia. Both teams came into this game after tremendous success in the tournament. With their star-studded lineups, they were ready to try and bring home a gold medal.
Matvei Michvok opened the scoring for Russia early in the first period. 15-year old, Canadian sensation, Connor Bedard tied the game up with less than five minutes to play in the first period. Russia’s Dmitri Buchelnikov scored with 1:55 to go in the first frame and his team thought they’d be heading into the intermission up by a goal. Team Canada Captain, Shane Wright had something to say about it and tied things up with 0:45 remaining. After a wild first period, the teams were locked at two a piece and ready to push for a lead.
Brennan Othmann broke the tie early in the second period, giving Canada its first lead of the game. Logan Stankoven added another for Canada and they went into the third period 20 minutes away from a gold medal.
The teams exchanged chances in the third period as Canada tried to hold their lead. Vladimir Grudinin cut into Canada’s lead but ultimately, it wasn’t enough. Russia pulled their goalie for the extra attacker but Shane Wright took a pass from Connor Bedard and scored on the empty net to secure the win. This one ended with a final score of 5-3. Canadian goaltender, Ben Gaudreau was between the pipes for the win and was awarded best goaltender of the tournament.
This was Canada’s first gold medal win since 2013 and their 4th in the history of the U18 tournament. Canada’s skill and dominance displayed in the tournament are exciting as many of these players will go on to be drafted in the 2021 NHL Draft as well as will get to represent Canada at the 2022 World Junior Championships. These young superstars are just getting started and they will continue to be a bright light for Hockey Canada.
Thank you for following our Hockey in the South Round-Ups. Stay tuned for more IIHF coverage in the future.