Gold Medal Comes Down to Heavyweight Rivals US and Canada

Updated: January 11, 2018 at 1:08 am by Megan Kim

It’s the last day of World Juniors, which means that after tonight, we’ll all have to wait a whole year for the Canadian populace to stake their entire nation’s hopes and dreams on the shoulders of a teenaged goaltender. 

Earlier today, the Russians took their place on the podium, beating the Swedes 2-1 in OT. With the bronze medal awarded, there’s just one game left.

Yes, folks. Canada faces the US at 8:00 PM EST. Here are the lines, per the IIHF.

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Carter Hart will tend the crease for Canada. Tyler Parsons goes for the Americans.

Update: USA wins 5-4 in a shootout (yes, a shootout) because the hockey gods have forsaken us all. Canada misses out on a gold medal on home ice thanks to American Hero Troy Terry. (He’s replaced T.J. Oshie.) Also, Thomas Chabot became the first ever defenseman to win tournament MVP. He deserves it.

Okay, is everyone still alive? Heart rates back to normal yet? Yeah, me neither. My hands are still shaking. 

It’s been a game for the ages, and it’s too bad it had to end in a shootout. But hey, here’s how we ended up there.

Canada came out of the gate flying, scoring twice in the opening frame to go up 2-0.

Thomas Chabot, who was Canada’s best player through the tournament, got the scoring started.

Jeremy Lauzon extended Canada’s lead shortly thereafter, and just like that, the Americans were on their heels.

Canada definitely drove the play during the first twenty minutes, with a relentless forecheck and very little space for Team USA to get anything going. But because this is junior hockey, with its wild momentum swings and emotional highs and lows, the second period was pretty much the polar opposite of the first.

It was USA’s turn to come out swinging, and so they did. Charlie McAvoy, who was very impressive for the Americans, got the red, white, and blue on the board.

An Adam Fox shot deflected off of Kieffer Bellows later in the period, and just like that, we had a tied game.

Things really got wild in the third, though. Remember what we were saying about junior hockey and momentum swings? Canada scored two quick goals in the first half of the third. 

Nicolas Roy’s power play goal was a beauty of a shot, and gave Canada a 4-3 lead.

Mathieu Joseph scored on a breakaway a few minutes later, and Canada’s two-goal lead was restored. 

It looked like Canada was well on their way to the top of the podium, and then everyone remembered that this American squad doesn’t ever say die. 

Kieffer Bellows’ second goal of the game cut Canada’s lead in half.

And Colin White tied the game moments later. (If you’re keeping track, that’s twice in this game that Canada coughed up a two-goal lead.)

But don’t worry, look at Mat Barzal waiting, waiting, getting that puck to Pierre-Luc Dubois, and HOLY COW, Dubois is going to be seeing that in his nightmares for a while. 

And so we went to a full twenty minutes of overtime, with end to end rushes and heroic saves and the pertinent information: No goals. 

Which means that there really is no justice in the world, because a game like that shouldn’t have to end in a shootout. It did, though, and because this is Troy Terry’s world and we’re all just living in it, HE’S THE ONLY PERSON TO SCORE IN THE SHOOTOUT. 

And thus the gold medal was awarded to Team USA, so Americans can pretend they care about the World Juniors now, while Canadians pick apart the psyche and every perceived flaw in a group of teenagers in an attempt to recapture hockey glory on the international stage, or something.