|Lineup scratches: n/a
Gold. The anatomy of a Team Canada junior championship squad has always been built around goaltending. Not so in 2015. This Canadian team was skilled, fast and for the most part, disciplined. And despite getting rattled by three consecutive Russian goals in the second period, they found their composure and pushed back in the third period to win gold for the first time in five years.
Defense. While much of the attention has gone to the forwards during the tournament, the Team Canada defense was very impressive. The shutdown pair of Darnell Nurse and Shea Theodore didn’t allow an even strength goal in the tournament. John Morrissey and Madison Bowey were a smart, mobile pairing. Morrissey delivered some of the most memorable hits but it was a tape to tape pass to Connor McDavid that sprung him for a breakaway goal that stood out in this game. On the third pair, Joe Hicketts delivered beyond expectations.
Leadership. Captain Curtis Lazar helped to refocus the team when things were going off the rails in the second period. Throughout the tournament coach Benoit Groulx talked about how led by example and that his confidence was contagious.
Plus / Minus
▲ Connor McDavid, Curtis Lazar, Sam Reinhart, Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, Josh Morrissey, Shea Theodore, Darnell Nurse