The schedule for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship has been released, and it includes a familiar match-up – Canada and the United States will meet on New Year’s Eve for the sixth time in 10 years, and the ninth time overall.
The Canadians have had the upper hand in the rivalry, winning six of eight Dec. 31 games, with one tie.
Here’s a look at the first eight Canada-U.S. showdowns:
Dec. 31, 2013 – Malmö, Sweden
Canada 3 – United States 2
With first place in Group A on the line, the Canadians got goals from Nic Petan, Connor McDavid and Curtis Lazar to hand the Americans their first loss. Zach Fucale made 24 saves to record the victory, while McDavid’s goal – the game-winner – made him just the fourth 16-year-old to score for Canada at the World Juniors, joining Wayne Gretzky, Eric Lindros and Sidney Crosby. The North American rivals entered the third period tied 1-1 before McDavid and Lazar scored 2:19 apart to give the Canadians a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Dec. 31, 2011 – Edmonton, Alta.
Canada 3 – United States 2
Canada wrapped up a perfect preliminary round in the Alberta capital, jumping all over the Americans early before holding on for a one-goal win. First place in Group B was clinched before the puck dropped, but that didn’t stop the Canadians from coming out firing; Mark Stone, Jaden Schwartz and Brett Connolly scored on three of Canada’s 19 shots in the opening 20 minutes for a 3-0 lead after one period, and Scott Wedgewood finished with 30 saves to keep the Canadians undefeated and send the U.S. to the relegation round.
Dec. 31, 2009 – Saskatoon, Sask.
Canada 5 – United States 4 (SO)
Another back-and-forth first-place showdown went in the Canadians’ favour, this time in a shootout. Trailing 4-2 with less than 10 minutes to go, Jordan Eberle and Alex Pietrangelo – shorthanded – scored goals to tie the game, and Eberle, Nazem Kadri and Brandon Kozun converted all three of Canada’s shootout chances to cap a perfect preliminary round. Eberle finished with two goals in regulation for the Canadians, Stefan Della Rovere added one, Brayden Schenn chipped in with two assists and Jake Allen made 24 saves.
Dec. 31, 2008 – Ottawa, Ont.
Canada 7 – United States 4
Wow, what a game. Down 3-0 before the 13-minute mark of the first period, Canada battled back to tie the game before the end of the opening frame, took the lead in the first minute of the second period and watched the U.S. pull even before scoring the final three goals to earn a wild win, finishing a perfect preliminary round and clinching first place in Group A. John Tavares led the way with a hat trick, Cody Hodgson had a goal and two assists and P.K. Subban had three helpers for Canada, which scored four times on the power play.
Dec. 31, 2005 – Vancouver, B.C.
Canada 3 – United States 2
The game that started it all. With first place up for grabs in Group A, the Canadians got off to a fast start against their North American neighbours, getting goals from Cam Barker and Dustin Boyd for a 2-0 lead just 6:42 in. But the U.S. got one back in the first period and tied it midway through the second, setting up a wild finish. Only a victory would give the Americans first place, so with goaltender Cory Schneider on the bench in the final minute, captain Kyle Chipchura’s empty-net goal sealed the win and top spot for the Canadians.
Dec. 31, 1999 – Skellefteå, Sweden
Canada 1 – United States 1
The Canadians and Americans closed out preliminary round play with a battle of the goaltenders; Canada’s Maxime Ouellet and the United States’ Philippe Sauvé combined to stop 53 of 55 shots, and both allowed just a single power play goal. Éric Chouinard got the scoring started early in the second period for Canada, but Jeff Taffe equalized for the U.S. midway through the third. The tie denied both teams a chance to climb in the standings; Canada would have finished first with a win, while the U.S. would have jumped to second.
Dec. 31, 1998 – Winnipeg, Man.
United States 5 – Canada 2
Unbeaten through three preliminary round games, Canada had a chance to claim first place in Group A with a victory over the winless Americans. But after Adam Mair tied the game for the Canadians early in the second period, the U.S. scored three times in just over four minutes to take a stranglehold. Daniel Tkaczuk made it a two-goal game late in the middle frame, but Canada would get no closer, losing to the Americans for just the second time in 18 games, dating back to the beginning of the Program of Excellence era in 1982.
Dec. 31, 1987 – Moscow, Soviet Union
Canada 5 – United States 4
With its sights set on a New Year’s Day showdown with the host Soviet Union, Canada kept its undefeated record intact against the Americans. Tied 2-2 after one period, the Canadians took control in the middle frame, outshooting the U.S. 13-2 and getting goals from Theoren Fleury, Rob Brown and Chris Joseph for a commanding lead after 40 minutes. The Americans made it close with two goals in the third, but Jimmy Waite made 11 of his 21 saves in the final period to keep Canada on track for its third World Juniors gold medal.
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