Canada wins gold at 2005 WJC

By Simon Richard





2005 Prospects: Alex Bourret






In front of 11,862 spectators, the first sold out game
of the 2005 World Junior Championships, Canada made its
final and incontestable point of the tournament, blasting the Russians 6-1.

 

Doing so, Canada won its first gold medal at
the WJC since 1997.

 

The Canadians demonstrated that those who claimed that
the 2005 edition of the national junior team was the best ever were probably
right.

 

The Russians were never in the game and they never
gained any cohesion on the ice.

 

The Canadians mastered Russian superstars Evgeni Malkin and Alexander
Ovechkin
,
who left the game early in the second period. 

The Canadians struck early

Ryan Getzlaf
opened the score with a blast from the right faceoff
circle for Canada
with 51 seconds played in the first period. Jeff Carter made a back pass
setting up Getzlaf. Andrew Ladd also assisted. The
crowd, mostly composed of Canadians, went wild.

In the third minute of the period, Team Canada took two penalties in a span
of 28 seconds, giving the Russians 90 seconds with a two-man advantage. The
Russians missed passes, played nervously and were unable to get organized.

The penalty kill gave another boost to the Canadians who scored a second
goal a couple of minutes later. Danny Syvret
shot from behind the net on the pads of Anton Khudobin
on a power play. The puck rebounded and went in the goal. Braydon Coburn and Patrice Bergeron
assisted.

The Canadians didn’t stop to press the Russians, multiplying many
solid body checks on the opponents in the following minutes.

The Russians had another power play in the 12th minute.
Playing nervously, they still weren’t able to seriously challenge goaltender
Jeff Glass.

At 17:48 Coburn was sent in the penalty box, giving a new chance for
Russians to come back in the game. The Russians continued to play erratically
being unable to shoot on goal and really penetrate in the Canadian defensive
zone for more than one minute. With 20 seconds remaining in the penalty, a weak
wrist shot from the blue line by Alexei Emelin found
its way through some players’ legs and penetrated in the Canadian net.

So, with less than one minute remaining in the opening period, the score
was reduced to 2-1 in favor of the Canadians. 

The first period ended that way. Despite the late Russian goal, this
period was still a Canadian one as they outshot Russia 13-7.

Canadian dominated the second period

At 3:33 of the second period, Khudobin
couldn’t stop a wrist shot from the corner by Carter. Canada regained
its two-goal lead. Ladd and Getzlaf assisted.

That was enough for the Russian coach Gersonski
who replaced his starting goaltender by Andrei Kuznetsov.

The Russians could have immediately replied while the Canadians were
penalized for too many men on the ice. Once again, while playing a man short,
the Canadians prevented the opponents to really get organized.

The Russians never threatened Glass in the first minute of the power
play. The Russians took a penalty in the second minute of their power play. At
7:33, Bergeron scored on a rebound from a shot by Corey Perry. Sidney
Crosby
assisted. It was 4-1 Canada.

A minute later, Anthony Stewart brilliantly converted a great
pass from Nigel Dawes. Michael Richards also assisted.

In the 12th minute, Ovechkin came
back on the Russian bench from the dressing room, after being out of the game
for about five minutes, having visibly injured his right shoulder. He went for
one shift on the ice but didn’t play after that. The Russians had
to play without their leader.

Dion Phaneuf scored on a blast from the blue
line at 13:19 on a power play, placing the Canadians ahead
6-1. Carter and Getzlaf got their third point of the
game on that goal. 

On the previous play, Dimitri Vorobiev got a five-minute penalty and a game
misconduct for highsticking.

During this major penalty, Team Canada didn’t score but gave
a hard time to Kuznetsov who resisted.

The teams went off the ice for the second intermission with Canada ahead
6-1. With 40 minutes played, the Russians had not yet offered any kind of real
pressure on the Canadians.

The game was over but 20 minutes remained to play.

A formality

The third period was played according to the rules that dictate that a
game must last 60 minutes.

Without their leader, the Russians didn’t offer any consistent
form of pressure on the Canadian defensemen.

As the buzzer marked the end of the game, on one side, sticks, gloves,
and helmets went in all directions and deserved celebrations began. On the
other side, many players were lying on the ice, visibly crying and in a state
of shock.

An ecstatic Canadian crowd sang at loud ‘We are the
Champions’.

Malkin was named
the best Russian of the game while Ryan Getzlaf
received the award for Canada.

Postgame comments

Hockey’s Future met Vancouver Canucks Vice President and Assistant
General Manager Steve Tambellini after the game. He
had this to say.

"This group of young men here is extraordinarily talented but past
that I know that they are great people. They are unselfish and a very committed
group."

Calgary Flames coach and brother of Canada coach Brent Sutter, Darryl Sutter
was also close to the media center after the game. Obviously, he was happy of
Team Canada
victory.

"It is a well deserved win. It is incredible. There are no weak
spots in the team. They got contribution from everybody. You look at what they
have accomplished and it will be hard bringing a team in any junior
championship that will match this one,” also commented the Stanley Cup
finalist.

Darryl Sutter was proud of his brother Brent. "Well, he is used to
winning, Stanley Cup, Canada Cup, Memorial Cup and now the World Junior. The
next one for him is the Stanley Cup as a coach."

"For sure, I feel good to bring back gold to Canada," said
Mikes Richards at the post game press conference, while Jeff Carter insisted
that the Canadian players didn’t want to take anything for granted.

Patrice Bergeron said that Canada had to play physically
against the Russians. "We played our game," he commented. "It
was a great opportunity for me to win the gold and I’m proud to be part
of this team," said Bergeron who has the distinction to win the gold in
the World Junior after having won it at the World Senior in 2004.

"It is a dream come true," said Crosby.

Alexander Ovechkin said that the Canadians
players must be proud of the win. "They jumped early and played physically,"
he observed.

"I wish that I’ll be there in Vancouver next year and that my NHL team will
release me to play for my country if it happens that I play there," stated
Malkin.

 

The bronze goes to the Czech

In the game for the bronze-medal, Petr
Vrana
scored a great goal on a nice move on a
one-to-one with 2:38 played in the overtime. Czech
Republic beat the USA 3-2.

Once again, the Americans had a lot of penalties. In the postgame press conference, coach Scott Sandelin
identified stated that the great amount of time passed in the penalty box cost the
U.S.
any chance to get a medal.

The best players of the tournament

Most valuable player (selected by the host organizer): Patrice Bergeron
(Canada)

The three best players, selected by the IIHF directorate

Best goaltender: Marek Schwarz (Czech Republic)

Best defenseman: Dion Phaneuf
(Canada)

Best forward: Alexander Ovechkin (Russia)

The All-Tournament Team, selected by a media panel)

Goaltender: Marek Schwarz (Czech Republic)

Defense: Dion Phaneuf (Canada)

Defense: Ryan Suter (United
States
)

Forward: Alexander Ovechkin (Russia)

Forward: Patrice Bergeron (Canada)

Forward: Jeff Carter (Canada)

 

Looking ahead to next year

Only two Canadians who are eligible returnees for the 2005 WJC are
Sidney Crosby and Cam Barker, though both may be playing in the NHL next season
and not released by their teams.

The Russians will have ten eligible returnees next year, the Finns nine,
the Swedish seven and the Czechs seven. The 2006 WJC
will be an exciting one in Vancouver.

 

Simon
Richard is the author of La Serie du
siecle, Septembre 1972, a
book about the Summit
Series published in 2002.
Copyright 2005 Hockey’s Future. Do not duplicate without permission of
the editorial staff.