Was a sweet day for Team Canada, which capped off its great run at the World Juniors with a golden shutout over Russia. The second-place Russians were naturally heartbroken after seeing their own string of successes in British Columbia come to an end. HockeyCanada.ca was there to bring you full reaction from both teams.
Steve Downie, Canada: I never even envisioned this happening. I’m just thankful to be here and it’s better than I could have imagined.
Kyle Chipchura, Canada: [Pogge] has been huge for us all tournament. I thought we had a slow start and he bailed us out. There were a lot of doubters out there for us, but we didn’t really listen to it. We believed in each other and believed in our team, and we went into each game thinking we could win each game.
Luc Bourdon, Canada: Once again, I want to thank the fans for being behind us. It’s been like that all the way through. Tonight was special for us and the fans. It was so great
Michael Blunden, Canada: We just got it going tonight. We were moving the puck well and our defencemen were shooting well.
Ryan O’Marra, Canada: Everyone’s got some battle wounds. We wanted to execute our game plan and we knew that they weren’t as strong willed as us. They didn’t have the same kind of heart and passion as we did, especially with the fans we had behind us. Our game plan was to execute mistake free hockey and it was good to see.
Dustin Boyd, Canada: It was everything I expected and a little bit more. It was unbelievable. The crowd was nuts. Singing “O Canada” on the blueline was something special.
Kris Russell, Canada: It was exciting. I didn’t know how good it would feel until the buzzer sounded. It was pretty special. We really wanted to win it for the fans and also ourselves. We felt a little bit of pressure, but Sutter made us realize you take every game one at a time, and that’s what we did.
Cam Barker, Canada: This is huge. This feels so good right now. It’s such a special group of guys. It’s an unbelievable feeling. From where we stayed to the fans and the welcome we got here and in Chase, everything has been awesome.
Andrew Cogliano, Canada: You want to do it for the whole country and the people watching, coast to coast. It’s a big thing for us, but it’s a big thing for the people in Canada.
Jonathan Toews, Canada: We played the way our coach wanted us. We trusted our coach and he did his job. He was a great coach and it was an honour playing for him. It’s unbelievable to win in, especially in front of a crowd like that. It was awesome.
Justin Pogge, Canada: I’m just kind of living in the moment and will probably reflect on it in a few days. You can’t really explain how it feels to hear that many people chant your name. Coming into the first period, I knew I was going to be busy, and I was ready. I learned a lot, and I was training with [goaltending instructor] Ian Clark, and he helped me out and gave me little goals to do every game. But I have to credit my shutouts to my team in front of me. We played a real team defence game and we were able to shut down the Russians.
Brent Sutter, Head Coach, Canada: I think that if someone said that this game would be a 5-0 hockey game before it started, I don’t know if you could believe them or not. But the kids are a great group of young men, They just stuck with it and stuck it, and tonight was a final of how they’ve been since December 11. Going into [tonight’s] game you heard all the talk about how skilled the Russians were and how good of a team they have and rightfully so. But I think the one thing everyone underestimated was the skill level we had. We had a pretty good skill level on our team. I never questioned whether we could score enough goals or not. My biggest thing from the get-go was, “Can we be a solid enough team defensively to shut down our opposition?” In the end we had good goaltending. I knew our defence would get better every game. I knew our forwards would adjust to what we wanted to with our system. [As far as taking Steve Downie], there was never a question for me ever, ever. Since day one when he stepped on the ice in August I knew he had to be part of this team. As far as the coaching staff goes, there was never an issue with us and Steve Downie. He’s a great young man and he played outstanding this whole tournament for us. It’s funny. Everyone else was talking about Malkin, but never once did I bring him up in a meeting with our players, because to me, if you start focusing on one guy, it’s a complete distraction to your hockey team. Nothing had to be said. We know he’s a very good player, but we had to play our style and our way. We talked more about our team concept and the way we had to play.
Alexei Emelin, Russia: [We are feeling] the worst feelings. I believe psychologically we were not ready for this game. Plus the fans cheered for Canada and it affected us as well. When we saw such a huge support from their fans it really affected us.
Andrei Zubarev, Russia: We are upset that we lost, but this is the World Championship. To tell the truth I will have another chance next year [to win the gold]. But after the game I had tears in my eyes. First of all we didn’t have a practice today, and on the other hand, Canada chose to play the game at this particular time and we were used to playing at 8 pm. I believe we were not prepared well enough to play at this particular time of the game. I believe that we were good on the power play, but to tell the truth, the Canadians were even better. [Regarding the reviewed potential Russian goal at the start of the second period], it would have produced a tremendous psychological effect on us. It would give us lots of support and encouragement, but when Canada started to win 2-0 and playing at home, it just slowed everything down.
Evgeni Malkin, Russia: It’s not the first time we played the Canadians. We played them last year. They are a very good team that plays very tough and strong. They will go to the net and will capitalize on the rebounds. It’s a great team. [The no goal] didn’t help our team’s motivation, but nonetheless I think that we forechecked and tried our best.
Nikolai Lemtyugov, Russia: The matter is that everyone speaks for themselves. It doesn’t matter what game it is, you have to do your job and you have to win the game.
Sergey Mikhalev, Head Coach, Russia: I would like to congratulate Team Canada and all their team members. They deserved today’s win. Unfortunately our game plan didn’t work out. We knew that Canada would be playing hard from the beginning of the game, and I must admit they were able to do it. We didn’t play that badly and we were even shooting more than Team Canada in the first period. Those two first-period goals were decisive.