For the first time since 2008, Canada will be competing for gold at the U18 World Junior Championship. The Canadians moved on to the gold medal game at this year's event by virtue of their 3-1 win over Finland in a semi-final match that took place at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia.
After a scoreless first period, Canada notched two quick goals in the second, by Morgan Klimchuk and Josh Morrissey, to open up a 2-0 lead. Finland made it interesting in the third period on a power-play goal by Joose Antonen, but Sam Bennett sealed the win for Canada with an empty net goal with 38 seconds remaining in regulation.
Canada has sported the stingiest defense at this U18, having given up just four goals in six games to this point of the tournament. One player that has helped to keep the goals against down is defenseman Dillon Heatherington. The 6'2”, 187-pound defender is not a flashy player, but instead plays a steady defensive game that emphasizes cleaning up offensive opportunities in his own end of the ice.
Heatherington, who plays for the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL, is ranked 31st among North American skaters by Central Scouting for the the coming NHL Draft. The Calgary, AB native's stock has risen steadily in the second half of the 2012-13 season.
Heatherington spoke with the media, including Hockey's Future, following Canada's win over Finland.
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