While the gold medal game at the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship was 60 minutes of quality grade hockey, two minutes near the end of the game may haunt players on Team Canada for the weeks and months to come.
For the majority of the third period the officials had decided to keep their whistles in their pockets and let the game be settled on the ice. Most likely this worked to Russia's benefit, as there were numerous situations involving a potential Russian penalty that went uncalled. With just over three minutes remaining, however, the officials were forced to call holding on Fedor Tyutin after he accosted Canadian captain Scottie Upshall for the better part of a shift. The powerplay opportunity was exactly what Canada needed trailing 3-2 late.
The first minute of the powerplay, however, was a far cry from the 40% success rate that Canada had enjoyed for the majority of the tournament. In fact, in said minute it was Russia that enjoyed a pair of chances to Canada's one. The final minute of the powerplay proved to be slightly better, but still not near enough, as the Canadian pressure from early in the game was absent in the dying moments. The Russians successfully killed the penalty, and held on for the final minute of regulation to win the game.
By Daniel Bonner, special towww.canadianhockey.ca
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