GRAND FORKS, North Dakota – Canada won the world junior hockey championships for the first time since 1997, routing Russia 6-1 for its 11th overall title.
Jeff Carter and Ryan Getzlaf each had a goal and two assists to help the Canadians end a string of four straight runner-up finishes. Russia beat Canada in the 2002 and 2003 finals and the United States upset the Canadians last year in Finland.
Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron, selected the outstanding player of the tournament, added a power-play goal and an assist in the most lopsided title game since the tournament switched to a bracket format in 1996.
‘It’s been the experience of my life,’ Bergeron said.
Canada, which outscored its opponents 41-7 in six games, blew it open with a four-goal second period. Carter began the run, with his routine shot from the right circle fooling goalie Anton Khudobin to make it 3-1 at 3:33.
After Andrei Kuznetsov replaced Khudobin in goal, Bergeron and Anthony Stewart added goals in a 61-second span, and defenseman Dion Phaneuf made it 6-1 with a power-play goal. Canada outshot Russia 15-2 in the second period and 32-19 overall.
‘That third goal got us on a roll,’ Canadian coach Brent Sutter said.
Danny Syvret also scored for Canada.
‘They played amazing and deserved to win the gold medal,’ Russian coach Sergei Gersonsky said.
Jeff Glass made 18 saves for Canada, allowing only defenseman Alexei Emelin’s power-play goal in the first period. ‘They are the best team,’ said Russian star Alexander Ovechkin, who hurt his shoulder in the second period and didn’t return.
A pro-Canada crowd dressed in red and white chanted and waived flags throughout the game. Grand Forks is about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the Manitoba border and about 240 kilometers (150 miles) from Winnipeg, a city of 750,000 people.
‘To have that much fan support when you’re not at home is unbelievable,’ Getzlaf said. ‘A lot of people paid a lot of money to come and support our team.’
In the third-place game, Petr Vrana scored at 2:38 of overtime to give the Czech Republic a 3-2 victory over the United States. The United States missed a chance to win consecutive medals for the first time in team history.
‘It would have been huge, but it just didn’t go our way,’ University of North Dakota forward Drew Stafford said. ‘There’s not much you can say other than it’s really disappointing.’
Vrana skated around U.S. defenseman Jeff Likens and moved in on goal. With Likens pestering him from behind, Vrana managed a soft shot that went through goalie Al Montoya’s legs.
‘It was a very weak goal, but it went in and that’s all that matters,’ Vrana said. ‘I just tried to put it on net.’
Czech goalie Marek Schwarz made 33 saves, 14 in the third period.
The Czech Republic’s Michal Polak opened the scoring with a power-play goal early in the first period, and Kevin Porter tied it late in the period.
The teams also traded goals in the second, with Michael Frolik scoring for the Czechs and Drew Stafford countering on a power play for the Americans.