They were looking for payback – and they got it.
Team Canada has defeated Russia to take home the gold medal today in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, with a final score of 4-3.
And to say it was a hard-fought battle may be the understatement of the year, as Canada triumphed with a massive comeback after being down 3-1 into the third period of the game.
It was Akil Thomas who sealed the deal for Canada, with the go ahead goal happening with only 4 minutes remaining in the game.
Even earlier in the tournament – against the very same team – Canada was embarrassed by a 6-0 loss in the preliminary round.
To date, that contest remains our country’s worst-ever loss at the World Juniors – which makes this redemption even more sweet.
Following that blowout, Russia beat Sweden 5-4 in overtime to take the other semifinal.
Canada’s spirits were also lifted by an impressive 5-0 victory against Finland in their semifinal on Saturday, scoring three times before the clock even hit four minutes – and successfully setting up the highly-anticipated gold-medal showdown with Russia today.
Today marked the ninth time the Canadians faced their Russian rivals in the finals, most notably taking the win in the 2015 gold-medal game in Toronto.
Canada hasn’t stood on the podium in Europe since winning gold the last time the event was played in the Czech Republic in 2008, and their dreams of winning their third gold in six years were crushed in last year’s 2019 Championship by Finland while playing right here in British Columbia.