Canada – Russia 8-0 (5-0, 2-0, 1-0)
KAZAN, Russia – In the most lopsided gold medal game in U18 history, Canada throttled Russia, 8-0, to earn its second-ever gold medal at the annual event.
Few could have predicted the drubbing that awaited the Russians as the two teams entered the game virtually even in every statistical category, including power-play, goaltending and scoring efficiency. But despite the equality on paper, it felt as if the Canadians were the underdogs after losing the preliminary round game against Russia, 4-2, and having to play in front of a full, pro-Russia crowd.
But as the saying goes, every dog has its day, and indeed it was the day for the underdog.
Canada opened the scoring with its first shorthanded goal of the championship to silence the Russian crowd. Nicolas Deschamps scored the goal just 4:32 into action. Corey Trivino opened up a two goal lead at the 9:02 mark, giving the Russians their largest deficit at this year’s U18 championship.
But things really started to unravel for Russia when Canada struck with a pair of goals coming 49 seconds apart. Jordan Eberle scored a power-play goal at 15:06, and Brayden Schenn quickly added the 4-0 goal, prompting Russia to pull starting goaltender Alexander Pechurskiy for Danila Alistratov. Replacement Alistratov didn’t fare much better as Eberle scored to make it 5-0 just over a minute after he entered the game.
The Canadian rush ebbed a bit in the second period, although in fairness, it’s tough to top a five-goal period in a gold medal game. Still, Canada put in another two goals in the next 20 minutes as Tyler Cuma scored on the power play, while Brandon McMillan also scored to make it an overwhelming 7-0 advantage.
Taylor Hall added the 8-0 goal as the third period was basically a foregone conclusion. Particularly impressive about the Canadian win was that seven different players scored the eight goals. Only Eberle scored twice. Jake Allen earned the shutout in net for Canada.
The last, and only other time, Canada won gold at the U18s was in 2003. The nation also took home the silver in 2005. Russia now has three gold, three silver and one bronze medal at the U18 championship.Click here for the photo gallery of Canada's 8-0 triumph and the celebrations.