DOMI HAS THREE POINTS, CANADA WINS WORLD JUNIORS GOLD
TORONTO, Ont. – Nobody said it was going to be easy.
A Sam Reinhart (West Vancouver, B.C./Kootenay, WHL) deflection of a Max Domi (Toronto, Ont./London, OHL) shot 12:30 into the second period proved to be the winner as Canada’s National Junior Team defeated Russia 5-4 in the gold medal game Monday at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
It’s Canada’s 16th gold medal at the World Juniors and brings its all-time medal total to 32. Canada finished the tournament a perfect 7-0, the seventh time it’s won all its games on the way to gold and the 12th time it’s gone undefeated at the World Juniors.
Domi had a goal and two assists on the night, and Anthony Duclair (Laval, Que./N.Y. Rangers/NHL), Nick Paul (Mississauga, Ont./North Bay, OHL) and Connor McDavid (Newmarket, Ont./Erie, OHL) added a goal each for Canada.
Zach Fucale (Rosemère, Que./Quebec, QMJHL) made 26 saves to pick up his fifth win of the tournament.
Canada scored early – chasing one goalie after only 2:32 – and often – building a 5-1 lead against another – then had the 19,014 in attendance holding its collective breath for the last 20 minutes.
Just 23 seconds into the game Domi fed the puck from below the goal line out front to Duclair, who went top-shelf. Only 2:09 later Brayden Point (Calgary, Alta./Moose Jaw, WHL) sent a pass from the side boards out front to Paul, who tipped it past Igor Shestyorkin. The Russia goalie left then the net for a seat at the end of the bench; he was replaced by Ilya Sorokin, who 17 days ago made 52 saves in a pre-competition Russian victory.
Dmitri Yudin momentarily silenced the home crowd when he beat Fucale from the bottom of the face-off circle at 9:20; seconds later fans found their voices with a shower of boos when the Russian forward taunted the Canadian bench.
Canada solved the Sorokin riddle in a span of 7:22 in the second.
Josh Morrissey (Calgary, Alta./Kelowna, WHL) sprung McDavid on a breakaway, the forward beating Sorokin five-hole. Just 2:14 later a Domi wrist shot from the face-off circle drew the loudest cheer of the night. Five minutes later Reinhart made it a four-goal lead and had fans at the Air Canada Centre chanting, “This is our house.”
Quick strikes from Ivan Barbashyov, Sergei Tolchinski and Nikolai Goldobin in the last six minutes of the second period got Russia right back in it, but Fucale made 11 saves in the third to clinch Canada’s first gold medal since 2009, and fifth all-time on home ice.