The World Junior Canadian team is two wins away from a fourth straight gold medal at the World Junior Championships after defeating Finland 4-2 on Wednesday morning.
Head Coach Craig Hartsburg made a decision that surprised a lot of Canadian hockey fans—naming Steve Mason the number one goaltender through the rest of the IIHF tournament. Even though Mason stood strong between pipes, the question remains if he will be the goaltender to start the rest of the way.The Canadians did find themselves down early in this game as the Fin’s took to an early 1-0 lead. It was the young phenomenon Jonathan Tavares who tied it up in the second period. Steven Stamkos scored in the third period giving Canada the 2-1 lead. Finland fought back and off a misread play the puck was directed off Steve Mason’s pad right to the back of the net. Brad Marchand eventually netted the game winner for Canada and Stefan Legein scored an empty netter as well.
Drew Doughty had a very strong game defensively for Canada, assisting on Steven Stamkos’s goal, earning him the Canadian player of the game.
With winning today’s game, the national junior team now sets up a rematch of last year’s semi final against the United States.
The U.S. are still undefeated in this year’s tournament, and with players like James Van Riemsdyk, Colin Wilson, and Jordan Schroeder—the top three scorers in the IIHF tournament—it should be quite the battle in the long awaited matchup.
The Canadians were able to come out victorious over the Americans in last year’s matchup in a shootout with Chicago Blackhawk’s Jonathan Toews coming up with the winning goal. Team Canada then went on to win the gold medal.
Will we see a repeat in 2008?