A look back on the uplifting and crushing moments from the WJHC
Author: harrison brooks – contributor
The World Juniors are here and it is the most wonderful time of the year. This tournament, over the years, has left me with many memories some of which still give me goose bumps to this day. So here are my top five memorable world juniors moments:
#5: Heartbreaker in Saskatoon:
The 2010 Gold medal game in Saskatoon. Canada sees themselves fall down 5-3 in the third, but they rally back and force it to overtime, only to have their dreams crushed not even five minutes into the extra frame by John Carlson. This game brought Canada back down to earth and started a five-year drought for the Canadians.
#4: Double Dion:
In the lockout year of 2005, Canada put together one of the most dominating junior teams of all time. This team showcased the likes of Shea Weber, Ryan Getzlaf, Sidney Crosby, and of course Dion Phaneuf just to name a few. Phaneuf at the time was feared for his ability to throw devastating hits. That year, in a game against the Russians, Phaneuf steps up and takes out not one, but two, Russian players at once, which got Pierre McGuire pretty excited, because he infamously screamed out “It’s a double Dion!” Even to this day, people still use that expression to poke fun at Pierre, but at the same time, you can’t help but picture that hit.
#3: John Tavares:
New Years Eve 2009, Canada vs. USA. USA goes up 3-0 in the first period, Canada looks like they are out of it already when Jimmy Hayes skates by the Canadian bench and does one of the hand-to-the-ear “I can’t hear you” motions, which you could see clearly lit a fire under Team Canada’s ass. Cue John Tavares. He goes out there and answers back with two quick goals. Then Eberle ties the game, and the Canadians never looked back. They cruised to a 7-4 victory with John Tavares completing the hat trick on the empty net and clinching first place in their pool.
#2: Toews in the Shootout:
2007, Semi-finals, Canada vs. USA. The game was tied 1-1, overtime solves nothing, so it’s going to a shootout. Interestingly in this tournament after the first three shooters, anyone can shoot as many times as they want. It is still tied after the first three rounds, with Toews and Little scoring for Canada, and Mueller and Johnson, scoring for the Americans. In the fifth round, Toews comes up clutch again with his second goal, but Mueller matches him once again. Still tied in the seventh round, whom do you call? Who else but Toews again, and he makes no mistake scoring for the third time. With the chance to win, Carey Price makes no mistake this time, stopping Mueller and he seals the deal for Canada.
#1: “Can You Believe It!”:
Anyone who saw the Canada-Russia 2009 semifinal game remembers clear as day where they were. Canada was down 5-4, when a Russian player gets greedy and tries to hit the empty net from his own zone. He ices the puck, and has a big grin on his face, like it’s a joke. The sight of this gives Canada just a sliver of hope, but sometimes thats all you need. Russia gets the puck off the draw and they try to clear it out, but Ryan Ellis keeps it in with an incredible play. John Tavares picks it up and slaps it towards the net, Jordan Eberle pulls the puck to his backhand and shovels it in with 5.4 seconds on the clock. The entire nation explodes along with all of team Russia’s confidence, and everybody is left searching for words to explain what just happened. Gord Miller is the only person who can put it into words, and he says four little words that I’m sure will go down as his most famous quote of all time, “Can you believe it!”