Recap – Russia vs Canada: Gold Comes Home

2015 World Junior Championship | Gold Medal Final – Game 31 | Monday January 5, 2015
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON.




Lineup scratches: n/a

Game Notes:

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

21 Shots 30
0 for 3 Power Play 2 for 4
62% Face-offs 38%
8 Penalty Mins 22
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canada  (7-0-0-0) 2 3 0 5
 Russia (3-1-0-3) 1 3 0 4
Scorers Goalies
  • CAN:  Duclair (4), Paul (3), McDavid (3), Domi (5), Reinhart (5)
  • RUS:  Yudin (1), Barbashyov (3), Tolchinski (4), Goldobin (2)
  • CAN: Fucale (W)
  • RUS: Shestyorkin, Sorokin (L)
 IIHF Players of the Game
  • CAN:  Darnell Nurse
  • RUS:  Ivan Barbashyov

 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Benoit Groulx

  • “At 5-1, Russia could have packed it in and said goodbye but they were here for a fight and obviously they came back and we had to refocus and thought did a great job overall.”
  • “What a way to finish a game and win a gold medal. We’re very lucky to have these guys playing for us.”

Sam Reinhart

  • “We didn’t panic or certainly tried not to panic.”
  • “That’s no question the most adversity we’ve faced throughout the tournament.”

Connor McDavid

  • “We’re world junior champions, we’re world champions. It’s joy. We were never really under pressure. The media and all the fans might’ve been putting that pressure on us, but we were just able to brush it off. Right now this is just absolute joy.”
  • “This means everything. That’s the biggest win of my life so far and I’m sure it’s going to remain that way at least for a while.”

Curtis Lazar

  • “The third period was one of those periods where you’re not looking at the clock too much. You’re just hoping and holding on. We did a great job defending.”
  • “The beauty of junior hockey. Back and forth. You think you have it in the bag and they come back. that’s what the Russians did. I thought our guys did a great job regrouping and staying calm.”
  • “Guys were down, but I knew there was tons of time left and with the group we had, we stuck with it and stayed the course and played the Canadian way. We killed a penalty to open the third, regrouped and started rolling from there.”

Max Domi

  • “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and experience and we took advantage of it. It’s awesome. No matter what happens in our lives, we’re always going to remember this.”
  • “I can’t really put this into words right now, it’s a dream come true. You grow up watching this tournament every year at Christmas time with the family and to now be a part of it and win a gold medal is outstanding.”

Josh Morrisey

  • “To be on top with the gold medal is absolutely amazing; it’s something I’ve always dreamed of. There were some pretty tense moments for the fans and I’m sure for the viewers at home. It was one of the more crazy games I’ve ever been a part of, but that’s junior hockey.”

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