Dylan Guenther Scores OT Winner, Canada Wins 2023 World Junior Hockey Championship

Erin WalshJanuary 6, 2023

HALIFAX, CANADA - JANUARY 05:  Dylan Guenther #11 of Team Canada celebrates his goal with teammates Adam Fantilli #19, Connor Bedard #16 and Brennan Othmann #7 during the first period against Team Czech Republic in the gold medal round of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship at Scotiabank Centre on January 5, 2023 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Canada are gold-medal winners once again, defeating Czechia 3-2 in overtime in the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship gold-medal game on Thursday night at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The win marks Canada's second consecutive gold medal at the World Junior Championship and fifth since 2015. Additionally, Team Canada has now won 20 gold medals at the tournament dating back to 1977, which is the most all-time.

Canada got out to a slow start on Thursday night, and it had to kill a penalty almost immediately when Nathan Gaucher was sent off for interference at the 1:45 mark of the first period.

After killing off the penalty, the Canadians began to find their legs, which resulted in Czechia's David Jiricek taking a penalty for holding about halfway through the period.

Putting Canada and its many goal scorers on the power play is dangerous, and the Canadians cashed in with a goal from Dylan Guenther at 12:41 of the first period to take a 1-0 lead.

TSN @TSN_Sports

CANADA STRIKES FIRST ⚡️<br><br>Dylan Guenther lasers one home on the power-play to give Canada a 1-0 lead.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldJuniors?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldJuniors</a> <a href="https://t.co/F04hUe9Pvn">pic.twitter.com/F04hUe9Pvn</a>

The Canadians built upon that lead in the second period when team captain Shane Wright scored at the 4:35 mark of the middle frame to put Canada up 2-0.

TSN @TSN_Sports

CAPTAIN CANADA 🚨<br><br>Shane Wright gives Canada a 2-0 lead with an absolute beauty.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldJuniors?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldJuniors</a> <a href="https://t.co/r3klt4Hx84">pic.twitter.com/r3klt4Hx84</a>

Czechia had multiple opportunities to score in the second period, but Canada goaltender Thomas Milic continued his rock-solid performance from the semifinal against the United States.

Entering the third period up 2-0, the Canadians were in full control at Scotiabank Centre. However, Czechia turned up the heat at the midway point of the third period, and it led to a goal by Jiri Kulich at the 12:30 mark to cut Canada's lead in half.

TSN @TSN_Sports

Jiri Kulich gives Czechia life in the 3rd period 🚨<br><br>🇨🇿 1-2 🇨🇦<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldJuniors?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldJuniors</a> <a href="https://t.co/fFlTrIYCjy">pic.twitter.com/fFlTrIYCjy</a>

Less than one minute later, Jakub Kos tied the game 2-2 to keep Czechia's gold-medal hopes alive and force overtime.

TSN @TSN_Sports

THIS GAME IS TIED 🚨<br><br>Jakub Kos strikes for 🇨🇿 Czechia 54 seconds after Kulich's goal.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldJuniors?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldJuniors</a> <a href="https://t.co/49QxCBn5rk">pic.twitter.com/49QxCBn5rk</a>

In overtime, Guenther scored his second goal of the game to power Canada to its second straight goal medal in front of a rowdy Canadian crowd in Nova Scotia.

TSN @TSN_Sports

DYLAN GUENTHER IS THE OVERTIME HERO 🚨<br><br>CANADA WINS GOLD 🥇<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WorldJuniors?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WorldJuniors</a> <a href="https://t.co/6jbHJ8TwaM">pic.twitter.com/6jbHJ8TwaM</a>

Czechia still has a lot to be proud of, having earned its first World Juniors medal since 2005 when it won bronze. The team hasn't won gold since it won back-to-back in 2000 and 2001.