2015 World Junior Championship: Canadians take Gold, Slovaks win Bronze
We've done it. We've survived the 2015 WJC. Two games today to decide all the medals. Let's get to 'em.
Slovakia Defeats Sweden 4-2
Featuring: Axel Holmstrom (1 assist, 1 SOG, 64% faceoffs, -1), Cristoffer Ehn (1 assist, 0 SOG, 73% faceoffs)
Sweden failed to medal for just the 2nd time in seven years and Slovakia picked up their first WJC medal since their 1999 Bronze. The Slovaks took an early 2-0 lead in the first period off a hot start, but goals assisted by Red Wings prospects Axel Holmstrom and Cristoffer Ehn (scored by William Nylander and Jens Looke) got it tied up. Unfortunately, Slovakia took the lead early in the third on a power play thanks to a Julius Bergman penalty at the end of the 2nd. The Slovaks locked it down from there on out, adding an empty netter to salt it away. Shots ended up at an even 28-28.
Canada Defeats Russia 5-4
Featuring: Joe Hicketts (0 points, 0 SOG)
Canada finally ended their WJC Gold Medal drought with a 5-4 win over the Russians, leading most of the way. The Canadians jumped out to a 2-0 lead early, getting the Russian starter pulled. Russia scored to cut the lead in half before the first period was halfway over and the teams played it close through the end of the period. The 2nd period was a whirlwind, as the Canadians scored three goals in a little over seven minutes to stretch the lead out to 5-1. Russia wasn't done though, as they answered with three more of their own in a little more than three minutes, carrying the play through the end of the period and starting the third on a power play. The third was a hell of a lot of fun to watch with chances at both ends and some absolutely gorgeous saves. As time ticked down, Canada held onto the one-goal lead to take home the Gold. Hicketts didn't factor into the scoring and was on for a power play goal against (he actually had the goal saved, but couldn't stop his own goaltender from kicking it in. Other than that, he moved the puck up ice pretty well, although he was heavily outshined by Darnell Nurse, who had a monster game.