Yesterday the bronze game and the final of the IIHF World Junior Championships 2015 were played and here are the results:
Sweden 2 – 4 Slovakia
Slovakia took the command in the first period, scoring two quick goals. The Swedes fought their way back in the game making it an even game of 2-2 before the second period which was scoreless. However, in the last second Sweden took a stupid penalty which meant they got to start the third period with a 5 minute boxplay. Slovakia took advantage of their power play and could hold this lead throughout the period, scoring the last goal in open net, making it 4-2 and winning the bronze. A big success for Slovakian ice-hockey – their only medal in the Juniors earlier was a bronze from 1999.
Canada 5 – 4 Russia
Canada started the game in a frenzy, scoring two early goals which led to Russia changing goalkeeper. The Russians came back and managed to score a goal before the first period was over. We got to see some hard-hitting fast-paced hockey between two good teams. In the second period Canada scored three fast goals, making the total score 5-1 to the home team. Russia’s goalkeeper didn’t came up to standard and the game seemed to slip away for them. That what was we thought anyways. In 4 minutes they scored three goals, two in power play, and suddenly a drama was unfolding. With one remaining period the score was 5-4 in favor of Canada. The Canadians began to look nervous and shaky. In the third period the home nation did a good job defending their one-goal-lead and managed to fend off the russian attacks. The gold this year thus went to Canada while Russians got the silver.
Summary of the tournament
We’ve seen some great hockey in Montreal and Toronto this Christmas. Some nations have rised and showed the world that they can play hockey with the big guys. Slovakia won their first medal since 1999. Denmark made it to the playoffs. Other nations didn’t quite delivered as expected. Last year champions Finland lost against Sweden in the quarterfinal. Sweden who was in the final last year got a fourth place this year. Switzerland didn’t make it to the playoffs. USA lost their quarterfinal. One thing is for certain: The two best teams made it to the final and put on a great show. The medalists of the IIHF World Junior Championships 2015 felt like worthy winners even if it of course will take a while for Russia to deal with the final loss against Team Canada.
IIHF World Junior Championships 2016
Next Christmas the Junior Championships will be held in Helsinki, Finland. That means big ice hockey wich of course is an advantage for the European teams. Sweden will have twelve players from this tournament one year older. Canada will travel to Europe to show that they can win abroad, defending their gold. Russia want revenge. Finland will have the pressure and support of the home crowd. It will be a blast!