Canada's relative woes in recent international tournaments have largely been pegged to weaker than usual goaltending. But the tide may be turning for the Canadians, if the 2013 U18 WJC and Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament are any indication.
Philippe Desrosiers was the star in net for Canada at the U18 WJC, while another QMJHL goaltender, Julio Billia, backstopped Canada to Ivan Hlinka gold. In five games at the recently completed Ivan Hlinka, Billia posted a 1.58 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage. And, with the gold medal on the line, Billia pitched a 4-0 shutout against Team USA to clinch a sixth consecutive gold medal for Canada at this tournament.
During the 2012-13 season, his first in the QMJHL, Billia backed up Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Christopher Gibson while playing for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. In 22 games for that club, Billia logged a 3.18 goals-against average and a .888 save percentage.
Billia spoke with Hockey's Future following his country's gold medal win, a conversation that is captured in this HF video.
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