HELSINKI, FINLAND – Canada’s National Junior team received a silver medal on Monday after losing 4-3 to Team USA in the gold medal game of the 2004 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.
With Canada’s silver medal on Monday, it marks this the sixth consecutive year Team Canada as won a medal at the championship—the only country to record such an achievement.
The victory by USA over Canada gave the US its first WJC gold medal ever, and its first hardware since a silver medal in 1997 when it lost 2-0 to Canada in the final. USA has also earned two bronze medals in tournament history, in 19.
Canada had a 3-1 lead going into the third period, with two goals by Nigel Dawes and Anthony Stewart with one goal and two assists to lead the Canadians. Canadian forward Ryan Getzlaf almost made it 4-1 for Team Canada early in the third before Patrick O’Sullivan scored for the US to narrow Canada’s lead to 3-2 at 4:39.
Team USA’s Ryan Kesler evened the score at 3-3 at 6:58 on quick shot in close that hit Canadian goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and flew in the air, over his shoulder and into the net.
O’Sullivan scored his second of the night, the winner at 14:48 of the third period, when he chased a loose puck heading toward Canada’s goal. Fleury came out to clear the puck, hitting Canadian defenceman Braydon Coburn and bounced into the net.
Fleury faced 28 shots on the night, while US goalie Al Montoya faced 30. Nigel Dawes was named Team Canada’s player of the game.
The IIHF handed out the awards for the 2004 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship at the conclusion of the gold medal game:
All Star Team:
Goaltender: Al Montoya (USA)
Defensemen: Sami Lepistö (FIN) and Dion Phaneuf (CAN),
Forwards: Zach Parise(USA), Jeff Carter (CAN) and Valtteri Filppula (FIN)
IIHF Directorate Top Three Players:
Best Goaltender: Al Montoya (USA)
Best Defenseman: Sami Lepistö (FIN)
Best Forward: Zach Parise (USA)
MVP: Team USA’s Zach Parise was named championship Most Valuable Player as selected by media. Parise, who had five goals and six assists in the tournament, was also named to the All Star Team and Best Forward as named by the championship directorate
The 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship will be held in Grand Forks, North Dakota and Thief River Falls, Minn. (USA).