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Canadians defeat Russia 5-4 to win World Junior hockey title

Canada captain Curtis Lazar hoists the World Junior championship trophy. (Associated Press)
Canada captain Curtis Lazar hoists the World Junior championship trophy. (Associated Press)
Associated Press

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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