Going for It All
OTTAWA--To beat the champ, you've gotta knock him out, the old maxim goes.
The Swedish national junior team, however, seemed to think it could walk into a Canadian rink and win a split decision with jabs and footwork, and that proved not even close to enough in a 5-1 loss to Canada in the gold medal game tonight.
Dustin Tokarski, the Canadian goalie so many slagged in recent days, stopped 39 shots in a terrific performance. John Tavares was named tournament MVP, and a Canadian team that couldn't defend in earlier games played a very solid defensive game to easily take the gold.
Former Maple Leaf coach Pat Quinn has now secured himself an impressive chapter in Canada's international hockey history by winning gold at the Olympics, the world under-18s and now the world juniors as well.
If the rampant speculation in this town proves correct, it might also land him a job very soon with the Ottawa Senators.
Canada's 2-0 lead after 40 periods expanded to 3-0 early in the second on a power play goal, and that was about it. Two empty-netters salted it away, and an expected confrontation between the two best NHL draft eligible players, Tavares and Sweden's Victor Hedman, simply didn't emerge. Hedman, really, wasn't much of a force on the Swedish blueline.
That's now five golds in a row for Canada at the world juniors, with two of the next three events also to be held in Canada.
Canada went 6-0 at this year's event, and will go for six golds in a row next winter in Saskatoon and Regina.