If it's Russia, it must mean gold for Canada at the U18 World Junior Championship as, for the third time on Russian soil, the Canadians once again came away with this tournament's top prize after defeating Team USA, 3-2, in the gold medal game.
Canada had the look of a gold medal winner heading into the championship game, but it was the USA that dominated much of the play as they fought hard to win their fifth consecutive gold medal at this tournament. But Canada rode the goaltending of Philippe Desrosiers to their third gold medal at this competition, all of which have been won in the country of their long-standing archrival, Russia.
While Desrosiers was unquestionably the top performer for Canada in the gold medal game, forward Connor McDavid was the top player for his country over the course of the 2013 U18, a fact that didn't go unnoticed as he was named both the Best Forward and Most Valuable Player of the tournament. In seven games for Canada, McDavid scored eight goals and added six assists to lead all scorers at the U18 with 14 points.
For Canadian forward Laurent Dauphin, this U18 was another opportunity to show that he plays some of his best hockey on a big stage. Dauphin scored the opening goal for Canada in the gold medal game and assisted on Madison Bowey's goal in the win over the USA. Back in January, Dauphin was named the Top Player at the 2013 CHL Top Prospects Game, so his performance in the gold medal game should only enhance his reputation heading into the NHL Draft.
Team Canada captain Sam Reinhart was everything a captain should be at this tournament as he contributed on offense while playing a steady defensive game over the course of this U18. Reinhart finished the tournament with three goals and four assists for seven points to go along with a +7 rating.
McDavid, Dauphin, and Reinhart spoke with the media, including Hockey's Future, following their country's gold medal victory.
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