First, Jamie McGinn... Canada's U18 Team won 5-3 over Czech Republic to take gold. From Hockey Canada:
PIESTANY, Slovakia—Canada’s men's under-18 team won the gold medal on Sunday in the Junior World Cup tournament final, overcoming a spate of early penalties before taking control of the game for a 5-3 victory against the Czech Republic.Here's a link to the team stats. McGinn didn't get any Gs or As, but he made the scorer's sheet in PIMs [link]. Not tops though, he was 18th (6 minor penalties).
Canada won the Junior World Cup Under 18 event for the ninth time in 10 years, with some clutch penalty killing in the first period opening the door to victory.
Despite three quick trips to the penalty box, the Canadians managed to stay level through the early going and eventually found a level of contact that wouldn't get them into trouble with the officials.
The early penalty kills helped shift momentum away from the Czechs, who had the support of the crowd behind them, and as the Canadians got their legs going, they gradually started dominating the play.
They built a 4-1 lead in the second period, and while a pair of Czech goals late in the third made it close, Mitch Fadden of Victoria iced things in the dying moments by scoring into an empty net, his second goal of the game.
Zach Himill of Port Coquitlam, B.C., Logan Pyette of Milestone, Sask., and James Sheppard of Sackville, N.S., also scored for Canada, while Jonathan Bernier of Laval, Que., made 21 saves.
Canada outshot the Czechs 39-24.
"It was a great way to cap off a super tournament for our team," said Camp. "The guys got better every game we played and today was the icing on the cake."
The Canadians went 3-0 in the preliminary round - including a 6-2 whipping of the Czechs - and then beat Finland 3-2 in the semifinals. The Czechs beat Russia 3-2 in a shootout in the other semifinal.
The rematch with the Czechs was a much bigger challenge for Canada.
"This game was a bit more of a wrestling match," said Camp. "We had to kill some penalties first, then we got the momentum and took control of the game and the goals in the third made the game close."
Despite the tight finish Canada was able to maintain its dominance at the tournament, which serves as both a breeding ground for the national team which takes part in the International Ice Hockey Federation's under-18 tournament in the spring and the national junior team.
"This is a great tournament for our team," said Camp. "We play the best teams from Europe and the U.S. It's a great measuring stick for our young players in the program of excellence with the goal being that we develop these players for the national junior team."
Canada is scheduled to fly home in the early hours of Monday morning, with the departure from their hotel set for 3 a.m.
"We'll have a quiet evening together and celebrate as a team before we go in our separate directions. This is our last chance to be together," said Camp.
"Our players are young so they won't be too rowdy, that's for sure. And with our flight so early, there's not a lot of time for the guys to get too crazy."
Congrats Team Canada!
And the Atlanta Thrashers sign Adam Smyth. From the Thrasher's site:
Way to go Adam!
Smyth, 21, split his first full professional season with Gwinnett (ECHL) and Chicago in 2004-05, notching 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) and team-best 217 penalty minutes ;^) in 49 games with Gladiators, and was scoreless in three games with the Wolves.
The 6-1, 215-pound right wing was scoreless in four games with Port Huron (UHL) in 2003-04. The native of Wiarton, Ontario collected 44 points (23 goals, 21 assists) and 556 penalty minutes in 172 OHL games with Ottawa and Owen Sound from 2000-04.