The 22 players with the Maple Leaf on their chests wanted it. The 10,594 fans at the Halifax Metro Centre wanted it. The entire nation wanted it. But in the end, it just wasn’t enough.
For the second year in a row, Canada lost the gold medal game of the World Junior Championships by one goal to Russia. The Russians scored twice in the third period for a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Canada on Sunday.
Andrei Taratukhin scored his second goal of the tournament, burying his own rebound past Canadian goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (Cape Breton – QMJHL), to open the scoring 11:17 into the first period.
Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (Chicoutimi – QMJHL) tied the game 44 seconds later, redirecting a point shot by Ian White (Swift Current – WHL).
Canadian captain Scottie Upshall (Kamloops – WHL), who was named to the tournament all-star team, gave Canada the lead with his fourth of the tournament, a powerplay marker at 16:22 of the second period. It marked the first time the Russians trailed in a World Junior game since the second period of the gold medal game last year in the Czech Republic.
Forward Igor Grigorenko, who was named the tournament’s top forward, scored his sixth goal of the World Juniors to tie the game 4:22 into the final period before captain Yuri Trubachev gave the Russians the lead with his third of the tournament at 11:09.
The Canadians had difficulty sustaining any pressure in the Russian zone until the final few minutes of the game, when Fedor Tyutin, who played for the Guelph Storm last year, took a penalty with a little more than three minutes left in the game. The Canadians had the top powerplay in the tournament, but couldn’t put the tying goal past Russian goaltender Andrei Medvedev.
“No one is happy with the outcome,” said head coach Marc Habcheid “But my hat is off to these players. They left everything on the ice and I’m very proud of them.”
Erie Otters defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo, who had a tournament-high nine assists and 10 points, was also named to the all-star team. The final was the only game in the tournament that Colaiacovo didn’t record a point.
Canada took little solice in taking home the silver medal for the second straight year. They are the only country to win a medal in each of the past five years, but haven’t won the gold since 1997.
The tournament set a new attendance record of 242,173 for the 31 games played in Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia. All six of Canada’s games were sold out and all 10,594 fans attending the gold medal game chanted “Canada, Canada” at the final buzzer.
“It was a great experience for everybody,” said Habscheid, who won a World Junior gold medal as a layer in 1982. “We had great support throughout the tournament and we really appreciate that.”
– Aaron Bell
1. Russia, Taratukhin (Grigorenko, Perezhogin) 11:17
2. Canada, Parenteau (Laich, White) 12:01
Penalties – Artyukhin Rus (high-sticking) 2:31, Tyutin Rus (roughing), Lupul Cda (cross-checking) 12:51, Trubachev Rus (hooking) 17:05.
3. Canada, Upshall (Laich, Parenteau) 16:22 (pp)
Penalties – Roy Cda (tripping) 12:05, Kaigorodov Rus (cross-checking) 15:02.
4. Russia, Grigorenko (Taratukhin, Perezhogin) 4:22
5. Russia, Trubachev (Polushin, Tyutin) 11:09
Penalties – Upshall Cda (elbowing) 12:29, Tyutin Rus (holding) 16:58.
Shots on goal by
Russia 14 10 7-31
Canada 12 8 4-24
Goal – Russia: Medvedev (W,5-0-0); Canada: Fleury (L,4-1-0).
Power plays (goals-chances) – Russia: 0-3; Canada: 1-3.
Referees – Ulf Radbjer (Sweden). Linesmen – Peter Feola (U.S.), Leo Takula (Sweden).
Attendance – 10,594.