Check out the unforgettable World Junior gold medal game highlights from 2012 to 2020 in our video round-up.
photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Wild but true: the last time an IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal game was decided by more than one or two goals was back in 2009 when Canada beat Sweden 5-1 in Ottawa. It’s no wonder the World Junior final has become mandatory viewing for hockey fans around the globe.
As we gear up for the thrills and heartbreaks of the 2021 edition, we’ve compiled all the video highlights of the last nine gold medal games right here for you. Enjoy!
2012: Sweden 1, Russia 0 (OT): Calgary, Canada
Coach Roger Ronnberg’s Swedish team outshoots Russia 58-17 in front of 18,722 fans at the Calgary Saddledome. In sudden death, Mika Zibanejad finally solves goalie Andrei Makarov with a spectacular solo dash. It’s Sweden’s first and only gold since 1981.
2013: U.S. 3, Sweden 1: Ufa, Russia
On a U.S. team featuring all-stars like John Gibson in net, Jacob Trouba on defence, and Johnny Gaudreau at forward, Rocco Grimaldi emerges as the hero versus Sweden. He scores his first two goals of the tournament in the second period to lift the Americans to their third World Junior title.
2014: Finland 3, Sweden 2 (OT): Malmo, Sweden
Tournament scoring leader Teuvo Teravainen notches three assists, but it’s Rasmus Ristolainen who stuns the host Swedes with the overtime winner at 9:42. The big defenceman cuts to the net to shovel a backhander under goalie Oscar Dansk’s right pad. This is Finland’s third gold medal, snapping a championship drought dating back to 1998.
2015: Canada 5, Russia 4: Toronto, Canada
The host Canadians appear to have things in hand when Max Domi scores his second goal of the night for a 5-1 lead just past the halfway mark. However, the Russians dramatically rally to make it 5-4 before the end of the second period. Yet that’s where the comeback ends. Domi joins Connor McDavid, Sam Reinhart, and Josh Morrissey on the all-star team as Canada captures its first gold since 2009.
2016: Finland 4, Russia 3 (OT): Helsinki, Finland
In a heart-pounding, back-and-forth final, the stacked Finns get six points from their top line of Sebastian Aho, Jesse Puljujarvi, and Patrik Laine, and Mikko Rantanen gives them a 3-2 lead over Russia with just 2:09 left. However, Andrei Svetlakov ties it up on his second goal of the game with six seconds remaining. It’s Kasperi Kapanen who sends the Hartwall Areena crowd of 13,479 – a record European gold medal game attendance – into ecstasy with his wraparound winner at 1:33.
2017: U.S. 5, Canada 4 (shootout): Montreal, Canada
With a Canadian crowd of 20,173 going wild at the Bell Centre, the host nation goes up 2-0 in the first period and 4-2 in the third. However, the Americans fight back to knot the score, paced by two Kieffer Bellows goals. After overtime settles nothing, Troy Terry – already a legend after scoring three times in the 4-3 semi-final shootout win over Russia – gets the lone shootout goal on Canada’s Carter Hart. U.S. goalie Tyler Parsons stares down Nicolas Roy on the final attempt, and gold is America’s.
2018: Canada, 3, Sweden 1: Buffalo, U.S.
Talk about quality time! Canada’s Tyler Steenbergen plays only 7:16 in the gold medal game, but scores the winning goal with 1:40 left in regulation, going to the net to redirect a shot-pass from Conor Timmins. Returning Canadian goalie Carter Hart shines with 35 saves against a Swedish squad featuring Elias Pettersson and Rasmus Dahlin.
2019: Finland 3, U.S. 2: Vancouver, Canada
These Finns know how to break North American hearts. After Toni Utunen’s 2-1 overtime winner eliminates Canada in the quarter-finals, Kaapo Kakko plays the hero against the Americans, who boast the dynamic brother duo of Jack Hughes and Quinn Hughes. Kakko snares a puck at the side of goalie Cayden Primeau’s crease and backhands home the go-ahead goal with just 1:26 remaining. An assist goes to 2021 World Junior captain Anton Lundell.
2020: Canada 4, U.S. 3: Ostrava, Czech Republic
When Maxim Sorkin puts Russia up 3-1 at 8:46 of the third period, coach Valeri Bragin’s team looks destined for gold. Yet the indomitable Canadians tie it up quickly with goals by Connor McMichael and captain Barret Hayton. Then Akil Thomas borrows from the golden goal playbook of both Tyler Steenbergen (limited ice time) and Mika Zibanejad (an individual rush combined with a backhand finish). The OHL ace beats goaltender Amir Miftkahov with 3:40 left to win it for Canada and inscribe his name in the history books.