In a battle for the Gold Medal Final more akin to a back-and-forth heavyweight fight, Russia and Canada slugged it out in the latter’s nation’s capital, only emerging victorious due to the last minute and shootout heroics of Jordan Eberle, whose timely goals sent Canada to their eighth straight final and retained them the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
It was Canada drawing first blood in the opening minutes of the game, with Evander Kane setting up Brett Sonne with a drop pass from behind the net of Russian keeper Vadim Zhelobnyuk, finding Sonne alone in front to lift the opening goal glove side just 2:02 into the game. Russia would equalize 3:16 later, with Maxim Goncharov catching Alex Pietrangelo flat-footed one-on-one closing in on Canadian goalie Dustin Tokarski, being left alone to rip a wrister past Tokarski for the equalizer. Patrice Cormier would retake the lead just under two minutes later, on another behind-the-net pass from Kane past Zhelobnyuk, but Russia would only need sixteen seconds to stop the momentum, with Dmitri Klopov knocking in an easy rebound off a Tokarski stop on Nikita Klyukin to draw even.
Despite a rash of penalties, particularly to Russia, in the second half of the period, Tokarski and Zhelobnyuk found their footing, leaving the rest of the period scoreless. Russia’s penalty trouble would carry over into the second period, taking five straight and five of six total on the period, playing at 5-on-3 for parts of the period. The extra man advantages became too much for the Russians, as Eberle recovered a broken John Tavares attempt, and despite getting just a weak slapperon Zhelobnyuk, it trickled past and in, giving Canada the 3-2 lead, on surprisingly the lone goal of the second.
The chaos resumed in the third period, with Russia drawing even again just 51 seconds into the frame, with Yevgeni Grachev capitalizing on a Tyler Myers turnover, racing up ice and beating Tokarski five-hole to put the game at 3-3. Russia’s special team problems even carried over to the power play, as the speedy Angelo Esposito was sprung by a Sonne pass on a shorthanded breakaway, beating Zhelobnyuk backhand top corner to retake the lead. But P.K. Subban would be called for tripping on the continued power play, giving Russia their own 5-on-3, and Sergei Andronov would make no mistake, banging in a Nikita Filatov rebound off of the stick of Colten Teubert and past a stymied Tokarsi, drawing even now at 4-4.
Russia would gain their first lead of the game with just 2:20 remaining in regulation, with Klopov notching his second of the night in a scrum in front of Tokarski, where he managed to careen the puck from the side of the net off of Tokarski’s skate and in, past a less determined Canadian defence, leaving the Ottawa crowd in stunned silence. With Tokarski then pulled and Canada in desperation mode, all seemed to be lost, first with a barely-missed empty net shot by Klopov, followed by a close clearing attempt, only saved by defender Ryan Ellis. Both Ellis and Tavares managed to keep the puck alive along the boards, and with the seconds in single digits, Tavares in desperation tossed the puck to the net. Dmitri Kulikov was in front to stop the puck with his chest, but being bent over he was unable to recover the puck, which was left wide open for Eberle to swoop in, drop Zhelobnyuk on the backhand, and roof the puck into the goal to even things at 5-5 with just 5.4 seconds remaining, sending the game to overtime.
Overtime would resolve nothing, with Tokarski and Zhelobnyuk remaining diligent, putting the game to a shootout. Eberle would technically notch his third of the night, again fooling Zhelobnyuk on the backhand, while Russia’s first shooter, Dmitri Kugryshev, had Tokarski beat but struck the post. Tavares, shooting second, caught Zhelobnyuk on a similar goal to Eberle, but beat him forehand instead of backhand, leaving the game on the stick of Pavel Chernov, who attempted to beat Tokarski five-hole but was stoned, capping the thrilling back-and-forth battle, and eventual come-from-behind win for Canada, in a particularly wild matchup between two nations that never seem to disappoint at the World Junior Championship.
With the win, Canada retained the International Hockey Lineal Championship, their 14th title, which they won in the 2008 Gold Medal final from Sweden, and have retained throughout their entire tournament here in Ottawa, notching wins over Czechia, Kazakhstan, Germany and the United States. This marked the 31st IHLC matchup in history between these bitter junior hockey rivals, with Canada taking an 18-10-2 lead all-time in their first meeting since the 2007 Super Series, which saw Canada embarrass Russia by winning seven of an eight game series. Canada would move on to again face Sweden in the Gold Medal Game, winning their record fourteenth overall and fifth straight U20 Championship, and would not lose the iHLC until the 2010 Gold Medal Game, where their streak was ended by the United States in overtime.
02:02 – GOAL – Sonne (Kane, Della Rovere)
05:18 – GOAL – Goncharov (Dadonov, Pashnin)
07:04 – GOAL – Cormier (Kane)
07:20 – GOAL – Klopov (Klyukin)
08:22 – PEN – Eberle, hooking
11:20 – PEN – Korostin, high sticking
14:22 – PEN – Filatov, elbowing
18:39 – PEN – Andronov, clipping
25:16 – PEN – Della Rovere, tripping
30:21 – PEN – Grachev, high sticking
32:02 – PEN – Tokranov, holding
34:39 – PEN – team, too many players
36:20 – PEN – Chudinov, high sticking
36:40 – PP GOAL – Eberle (Hodgson, Tavares)
36:52 – PEN – Chudinov, delay of game
40:51 – GOAL – Grachev (Filatov)
41:18 – PEN – Goncharov, interference
44:47 – PEN – Della Rovere, cross checking
45:44 – SH GOAL – Esposito (Sonne)
46:12 – PEN – Subban, tripping
46:22 – PP2 GOAL – Andronov (Filatov, Goncharov)
52:55 – PEN – Teubert, hooking
57:40 – GOAL – Klopov
59:55 – EA GOAL – Eberle (Tavares)
70:00 – PEN – Chernov, 10 min. misconduct
W: Tokarski (23-28)
L: Zhelobnyuk (36-42)
SHOTS ON GOAL
11+13+13+4+1 = 42
12+3+10+3+0 = 28
Goaltenders: Chet Pickard, Dustin Tokarski. Defence: Keith Aulie, Ryan Ellis, Cody Goloubef, Thomas Hickey, Tyler Myers, Alex Pietrangelo, P.K. Subban, Colten Teubert. Forwards: Jamie Benn, Zach Boychuk, Patrice Cormier, Stefan Della Rovere, Chris DiDomenico, Jordan Eberle, Tyler Ennis, Angelo Esposito, Cody Hodgson, Evander Kane, Brett Sonne, John Tavares.
Goaltenders: Danila Alistratov, Vadim Zhelobnyuk. Defence: Maxim Chudinov, Igor Golovkov, Maxim Goncharov, Dmitri Kulikov, Mikhail Pashnin, Vasili Tokranov, Vyacheslav Voinov. Forwards: Sergei Andronov, Pavel Chernov, Yevgeni Dadonov, Nikita Filatov, Yevgeni Grachev, Dmitri Klopov, Nikita Klyukin, Alexander Komaristy, Sergei Korostin, Dmitri Kugryshev, Kirill Petrov, Alexei Potapov.
(+ 2 ties, 1 void)
|First IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. RUS)
URS 4-3 CAN – 01/05/1975 – WJT – Winnipeg
|Previous IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. RUS)
CAN 6-1 RUS – 09/09/2007 – SS – Vancouver
|Last IHLC Game
CAN 7-4 USA – 12/31/2008 – WJC – Ottawa
|Next IHLC Game
CAN 5-1 SWE – 01/05/2009 – WJC – Ottawa