Gold Medal Game at Ejendals Arena
Russia - Canada 2 - 4 (0:3, 2:1, 0:0)
LEKSAND: Canada took their third consecutive IIHF World U20 gold medal defeating Russia 4-2. It was Canada's first U20s gold on European ice since 1997. It was Russia's third consecutive gold medal game loss, all to their bitter rivals. The Canadians ran up a 4-0-lead in the second period, but Russia came back and had the pressure for the last 30 minutes of the game. With the score 4-2 at 18.12, Canada's Marc Staal took a penalty and the Russian coach pulled goalie Semen Varlamov to have six skaters on four. But Canada prevailed and won their 13th World U20 Championship gold.
Team Canada was immensely impressive in the opening period. They had a little downer around the 12th minute mark, but bounced back with three goals between 15.35 and 18.02. Defenseman Vyacheslav Buravchikov committed two defensive mistakes in a span of five seconds and Canada executed this perfectly with a tic-tac-toe play involving Marc Staal and Ryan O'Marra giving Andrew Cogliano an almost open net. Brian Little's backhander in power-play past a poorly positioned goaltender Semen Varlamov gave 2-0 and Jonathan Toews made it 3-0 only 33 seconds later after Pavel Valentenko's reckless highticking penalty. Steve Downie made a perfect little hesitation pass to Toews that sent the puck top shelf, past a desperate Varlamov.
The reigning U20 champions jumped to a 4-0-lead after six minutes of the second stanza and again it was Downie who opened the Russian defense. The little, pesky forward made a short deflection at the blue line just before he took a big hit and his assist gave Toews and Brad Marchand a two-on-one which they converted perfectly.
There was momentum swing midway through the game following a penalty to Karl Alzner. It took Russia only five seconds to benefit from the PP when defenseman Pavel Valentenko scored from the point after Gennadi Churilov's clean draw win. In the next sequence Steve Downie took a thundering check from Vitali Anikeyenko, a hit that took the Canadian character player out of the game for a moment. Canada's Carey Price saved his team at 16.38 when he made a glove save on Andrei Kiryukhin's backhander from close range. But Price committed a minor blunder when he let in Russia's second goal between his pads with 36 seconds left of the period as Gennadi Churilov scored in power-play. That was Prices's only mistake of the championship. The Russians definitely took over in the last ten minutes of the period when the Canadian players started to fill the penalty box.
Canada had a perfect chance to kill the game early in the third when they enjoyed a three-on-five power-play, but it resulted in a clean breakaway for Anton Krysanov but Price confirmed his MVP award making another key save. Moments later Price made a superb pad save when Andrei Kiryukhin was about to shove in the puck with a backhander. Canada hardly had any offense in the third period but that wasn't needed.
Bronze Medal Game at Ejendals ArenaSweden - USA 1 - 2 (0:1, 1:1, 0:0)
LEKSAND: USA won its second bronze medal in the IIHF World U20 Championships by defeating Sweden 2-1. The Swedes had a great opportunity to tie it up on a two-man advantage with seven minutes left, but they created little. In the last five U20s Sweden has improved one position every year: 8 - 7 - 6 - 5 and now 4th.
USA took the lead with five seconds left to the first intermission on a goal-mouth scramble when Pat Kane's shot from a minimal angle was directed into the net by Nicklas Bäckström's stick. This was the final confirmation that this was not his tournament. When the Swedish star finally put the puck into the net, it was into his own. Bäckström redeemed himself midway through the middle period when he collected his seventh assist on Patrik Zackrisson's equalizer. But it was Bäckström who was in the penalty box when the U.S. restored a one-goal lead three minutes later. Erik Johnson, in power-play, scored with a low shot from the slot, for his fourth goal and ninth point of the championship. The last period was scoreless. Sweden outshot USA 25-22.
Most Valuable Player:
Carey Price, CANMedia All Star Team
Goaltender: Carey Price, CAN
Defenseman: Erik Johnson, USA
Defenseman: Kristopher Letang, CAN
Forward: Alexei Cherepanov, RUS
Forward: Patrick Kane, USA
Forward: Jonathan Toews, CANDirectorate Best Player Awards
Top Goaltender: Carey Price, CAN
Top Defenseman: Erik Johnson, USA
Top Forward: Alexei Cherepanov, RUSFinal standings:
3. United States
5. Czech Republic