Game Summary
Canada  4 -  Denmark  1


by Alan Adams

PARDUBICE, Czech Republic – It's win or go home time for Canada at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Canada beat Denmark 4-1 in their round-robin finale on Monday, setting up a quarterfinal with Finland on Wednesday.

"They are a good team," said head coach Craig Hartsburg about the Finns. "They work hard and they are a lot like a North American team. They will be a tough opponent."

The Canadians began New Year's Eve with a chance of finishing in first place in Group A, but Sweden's 4-2 victory over the Czech Republic earlier in the day clinched top place for the Swedes, who received a bye to the semi-finals.

Canada finished second with a 3-1 record, marking the first time since 2002 that the National Junior Team has not finished in first place in their group.

The Canadians now face the task of winning three games in four nights to claim a fourth straight gold medal.

"We can do it and we will give it our best," said Hartsburg.

The host Czech Republic wound up in third place in Group A, while the Slovaks and Danes finished fourth and fifth, respectively, and will play in the relegation round.

The United States finished atop the standings in Group B and advanced to the semifinals, while the Russians grabbed second and the Finns third. Kazakhstan and Switzerland will round out the four-team relegation round.

The winner of the Canada-Finland match-up will play the United States in a Friday semi-final, potentially setting up a rematch of the classic Canada/USA semi-final from one year ago.

"We have to make sure we play a hard 60 minutes from now on," said Tavares. "We can't have any more breakdowns (like they did against Sweden) and make sure we play our game."

"We challenged them before the game to give us their best game and we played a good 60 minutes," added Hartsburg. 'We played with a lot of emotion and a lot of intensity. After a loss like that, this was the game we needed."

The winner of the quarterfinal between Russia and the Czech Republic will take on Sweden in the other semi-final.

The Canadians were relentless against the Danes, but goaltender Christian Moeller was the reason why the first-ever meeting between the three-time defending gold medalists and Denmark wasn't more one-sided, stopping 39 shots.

Kyle Turris (New Westminster, BC/University of Wisconsin, WCHA), with a pair of goals, Shawn Matthias (Mississauga, ON/Belleville, OHL), and John Tavares (Oakville, ON/Oshawa, OHL) scored for Canada.

Matthias, Turris, Tavares and Josh Godfrey (Kingston, ON/Sault Ste. Marie, OHL) all had two-point nights in the win.

Steve Mason (Oakville, ON/London, ON) was working on a shutout until Mikkel Boedker, who plays for the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League, batted a rebound into the net midway through the final period with Denmark on a 5-on-3 powerplay.

The Danes – making their IIHF World Junior Championship debut - are coached by Calgary native Ken Babey, who led Canada's National Men's Under-18 Team at the 2000 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, and has been bench boss at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology for more than 20 years.

The win prevented Canada from losing two consecutive games at the World Juniors for the first time since 1998, when it lost three in a row to Russia, the United States and Kazakhstan on the way to an eighth-place finish.


Game Information
Game Number 19  Round Preliminary
Arena Pardubice Arena City, Country Pardubice, Czech Republic
Month / Day / Year 12/31/2007 Time (local) 12:00 PM ET
Attendance Game Status Final

Box Score   1     2     3   Total
Canada (CAN) 2 1 1 4
Denmark (DEN) 0 0 1 1
First Period
   12:44 CAN 22 Shawn Matthias (2 Josh Godfrey, 10 Steven Stamkos) PP
   18:08 CAN 20 John Tavares (32 Matthew Halischuk, 22 Shawn Matthias)

   06:36 DEN 13 Nicholas Jensen (Holding)
   11:58 DEN 4 Oliver Lauridsen (Interference)
   13:55 DEN 16 Lars Eller (Interference)
   19:04 DEN 4 Oliver Lauridsen (Holding)

Second Period
   08:18 CAN 19 Kyle Turris (28 Claude Giroux, 4 Thomas Hickey)

   06:43 CAN 2 Josh Godfrey (Boarding)
   08:02 DEN Team (Too Many Men)
   11:25 DEN 16 Lars Eller (Slashing)
   13:42 CAN 28 Claude Giroux (Slashing)
   16:40 DEN 24 John Jensen (Tripping)

Third Period
   09:36 DEN 8 Mikkel Boedker (16 Lars Eller, 3 Philip Larsen) PP2
   14:41 CAN 19 Kyle Turris (20 John Tavares, 2 Josh Godfrey) PP

   02:30 DEN 10 Lasse Holgaard (Tripping)
   08:06 CAN 32 Matthew Halischuk (Tripping)
   09:07 CAN 7 Stefan Legein (Holding)
   13:43 DEN Team (Too Many Men)
   16:39 CAN 34 Wayne Simmonds (Tripping)

30 Steve Mason On 1/00:00   Off 3/20:00
2 Christian Moeller On 1/00:00   Off 3/20:00

Shots on Goal   1     2     3   Total
Canada 16 18 9 43
Denmark 3 7 6 16

Player of Game
Canada 22 Shawn Matthias
Denmark 3 Philip Larsen
Lines People KEKALAINEN Mikko (FIN), LESNJAK Ales (SLO)