Hockey Canada Network |
Taking a Look Back The 1991 IIHF World Junior Championship
July 16, 2008

The Canadians had been the class of the 1990 IIHF World Junior Championship in Finland, taking home the gold medal for the second time in three years, finishing ahead of the Soviet Union on the strength of a 6-4 win in Helsinki on New Year’s Day.

One year later, with the tournament set for home ice in Saskatoon, SK, Canada returned just six players from their 1990 championship team – Patrice Brisebois, Mike Craig, Kris Draper, Eric Lindros, Kent Manderville and Steven Rice – while the Soviets returned seven from their silver medal squad.

The round robin went according to plan for the Canadians – almost. A 4-4 tie with the Americans on December 27th left the tournament hosts a point back of the Soviets, and a Soviet win over Finland on January 3rd would give them the gold and make the next day’s final round robin game one for bronze for the Canadians, instead of the gold they wanted.

But the Finns would do Canada a monumental favour, as Jarkko Varvio scored with just 15 seconds remaining to pull out a 5-5 tie with the Soviets, leaving Canada and the Soviet Union tied atop the standings, and making their January 4th showdown one for gold.

The game was another classic Canada-Soviet Union match-up, as the Canadians jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Pierre Sevigny and Rice, only to see the Soviets claw their way back and pull even on a Sandis Ozolinsh goal 3:50 into the final period.

Despite being outshot 17-3 in the final 20 minutes, it only took one for Canada to leave Saskatoon with gold, and that one came from a most unlikely source.

John Slaney, who had not scored in the tournament, got a seeing-eye point shot through traffic and past Soviet goaltender Sergei Sviagin with just 5:13 to go, giving Canada a 3-2 lead that it would not relinquish. Slaney actually got so excited after his game-winner that he sprained his ankle in the celebration, and watched the final five minutes from the Canadian bench.

Trevor Kidd and the Canadian defense held the Russians at bay for the final five minutes, giving Canada its second consecutive gold medal, and fifth overall, at the IIHF World Junior Championship.

Lindros earned the tournament’s Top Forward award from the IIHF Directorate, and was joined by Craig on the Tournament All-Star Team.


GOLD – Canada
SILVER – Soviet Union
BRONZE – Czechoslovakia


TOP FORWARD: Eric Lindros (CAN)


G Pauli Jaks (SUI)
D Scott Lachance (USA)
D Dmitri Yuskkevich (URS)
F Mike Craig (CAN)
F Eric Lindros (CAN)
F Martin Rucinsky (TCH)

For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada

2014 Esso Cup: SUD 6 - FRA 3
Apr 24, 2014
A trio of Lady Wolves scores two goals each to lead Sudbury over Fraser Valley.
2014 WU18C: CAN 3 - SUI 2
Apr 24, 2014
Konecny’s late goal sends Canada to the semifinals in Lappeenranta.
2014 TELUS Cup: HFX 5 - OKA 4
Apr 24, 2014
Halifax scored four times in the third period to stun Okanagan.
2014 TELUS Cup: TOR 3 - CHA 1
Apr 24, 2014
Harland had the winner to help the Young Nationals to the victory.
2014 Esso Cup: EDM 4 – STC 3 (OT)
Apr 24, 2014
Alexandra Poznikoff scored 4:21 into overtime to win it for the Thunder.
2014 Esso Cup: SUD 3 - EDM 2
Apr 23, 2014
A pair of power play goals in the second led Sudbury to its third win.
2014 Esso Cup: FRA 7 – MON 2
Apr 23, 2014
The Phantom fired 50 shots on net in picking up its first win of the Esso Cup.
2014 TELUS Cup: HAL 3 - CHA 7
Apr 23, 2014
Eight players had multi-point games to lead Châteauguay to its first win.
2014 TELUS Cup: TOR 4 - MJ 2
Apr 23, 2014
Marco Bozzo’s hat trick helped the Young Nationals to another win.
2014 Esso Cup: STC 3 - WEY 2
Apr 23, 2014
The Sabres scored three in the first and hung on to defeat the Gold Wings.
2014 TELUS Cup: OKA 1 - PA 1
Apr 23, 2014
Kjargaard and Bryshun traded goals in yet another tie game.
2014 Esso Cup STC 2 – SUD 1
Apr 22, 2014
A shorthanded goal from Alexa Vasko late in the second was the difference.
Photo Credit: