2023 34 nmu18t canada gold

Canada wins gold medal at 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship

National Men's Under-18 Team scores three power-play goals in third period to win first world title since 2021

May 5, 2024

ESPOO, Finland – Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team made it a comeback for the ages to win its fifth gold medal—and first since 2021—at the 2024 IIHF U18 World Championship, beating the United States 6-4 at Metro Areena on Sunday.

Tij Iginla (Lake Country, BC/Kelowna, WHL) buried the game-winning goal at 14:19 of the third period, capping off a stretch of three power-play goals in 3:54 during a five-minute power play. 

Canada was trailing 3-2 midway through the third period when Gavin McKenna (Whitehorse, YT/Medicine Hat, WHL) started the comeback with his second goal of the game, tying it at 3-3. Just over three minutes later, Cole Beaudoin (Kanata, ON/Barrie, OHL) found the back on the net for Canada’s first lead of the game.

McKenna sealed the win, scoring an empty-netter to complete the hat trick with his 10th goal, which set a new record for goals by a Canadian at the tournament. He also finished with 20 points, the most by a Canadian at a single U18 Men’s Worlds.

“Obviously you can’t do it by yourself. I had an unbelievable line and a great team,” McKenna said. “I couldn’t have done it without them, there were so many guys that stepped up when we needed it and it all paid off in the end. There was never a doubt in our room. We have built unbelievable friendships that we’ll have for a lifetime. The U.S. played really well, but with the penalty—the power play is something we practiced all tournament, it came up big today and that was the key to our win.”

The U.S. took the lead with a goal in the final minute of the first period before Ryder Ritchie (Kelowna, BC/Prince Albert, WHL) tied the game with his fourth of the tournament in the middle frame. Canada would trail by two before McKenna found the top corner with a backhand that beat American goaltender Nick Kempf for a power-play goal, cutting the deficit to 3-2.

Carter George (Thunder Bay, ON/Owen Sound, OHL) was a difference-maker again, making one outstanding save after another, including a goal-line save on James Hagens just seconds after McKenna made it a one-goal game. George was named the Best Goaltender by the IIHF directorate following his 31 saves in the gold medal game.

“I have no words for him, Georgie is unbelievable,” McKenna said. “He kept us in it this whole game, honestly. There were times in this tournament where we might not have won, he’s an unbelievable person and player, and the sky is the limit for him.”

“We talk about grit and it being the guts of a team. We had needed a lot of guts just to hang in during the second period,” said head coach Gardiner MacDougall (Bedeque, PE/University of New Brunswick, AUS). “There’s grit, but also resilience and this team showed unbelievable resilience. We also showed initiative (with the score and the power play in the third) and tenacity is just about staying with it. All that shows the grit this group had. If you watched the game, there were times you probably thought there was no hope with this team, but George kept us in it. We pride ourselves that the longer we play, the better we should get, and it all proved true today. That speaks to the character of our group.”

Following the game, George, McKenna and Porter Martone (Peterborough, ON/Mississauga, OHL) were named to the media all-star team.

A full game summary can be found at

Canada was undefeated in the tournament, beating Sweden, Czechia, Switzerland and Kazakhstan while outscoring its opponents 31-7 in the preliminary round. It booked its spot in the gold medal game with a 4-0 shutout of Latvia in the quarterfinals and a 5-4 win in the semifinal over Sweden.

Since 2002, Canada has won five gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013, 2021, 2024), in addition to one silver (2005) and four bronze (2012, 2014, 2015, 2023).

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

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