TORONTO – Erie Otters star Connor McDavid helped lead Canada to its record 16th World Junior hockey title and first since 2009, scoring a goal in a 5-4 victory over Russia on Monday night.
Anthony Duclair, Nick Paul, Max Domi and Sam Reinhart also scored to stake Canada to a 5-1 lead. Dmitri Yudin, Ivan Barbashev, Sergey Tolchinsky and Nikolai Goldobin scored for Russia.
Zach Fucale made 26 saves for Canada.
Duclair scored 23 second into the game and Paul made it 2-0 at 2:32, chasing Russian goalie Igor Shestyorkin. Yudin scored for Russia midway through the first period.
McDavid, expected to be the top pick in the NHL draft, made it 3-1 early in the second, and Domi and Reinhart increased the lead to 5-1. Russia countered with three goals – two on power plays – in a span of 3 minutes, 16 seconds.
In the third-place game, Slovakia beat Sweden 4-2.
Pavol Skalicky broke a tie on a power play early in the third period for Slovakia.
Slovakia started the final period on a 5-minute power play after Julius Bergman received a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct for felling Patrik Koys at the end of the second.
“I think the Swedes were disappointed from yesterday’s (semifinal) game and we wanted to win today a little more,” Slovak goalie Denis Godla said.
Godla made 26 saves to help Slovakia win its second medal after also finishing third in 1999.
“He’s our hero; he’s a rock star,” forward Samuel Petras said Godla.
David Soltes, Mislav Rosandic and Koys – into an empty net in the final minute – also scored.
“This is like history,” Soltes said. “We will be happy forever.”
In the semifinals Sunday, Canada defeated Slovakia 5-1 and Russia topped Sweden 4-1.
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