While Team Canada seemingly rode the gifted talent of forward Connor McDavid to their gold medal win over the USA at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship, there were contributions right down the roster over the course of this tournament.
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Winning four straight gold medals at any high-level competition is a difficult undertaking, but Team USA had done just that heading into the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship in Sochi, Russia. But winning “one for the thumb”, so to speak, proved to be a challenge just out of the reach of the American squad as they were defeated by Canada in the U18 gold medal game, 3-2.
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Early on at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship, it looked as though Team USA might not have enough to make a run at a fifth consecutive gold medal at this tournament. But the team has come together as the U18 has progressed and, after a wild, 4-3 shootout win over host Russia in the semi-finals, the USA will in fact do battle for another gold medal.
In what was a see-saw battle ultimately decided in a shootout, the USA defeated Russia, 4-3, to move on to their fifth consecutive gold medal game at the U18 World Junior Championship. Team USA's opponent in the championship game will be Canada, who are going for their first gold medal win in five years at this event.
When it comes to competing for gold at the U18 World Junior Championship, perhaps Canada should lobby to have the tournament in Russia every year. Russian ice has been kind to the Canadians at this tournament as Canada has won gold the two most recent times the U18 has been held in Russia.
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.