Ryan Remiorz/CP Team Canada celebrates after defeating Russia in the gold medal game at the World Junior Hockey Championships on Jan. 5 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Cozens, Canada win gold at 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship

Whitehorse’s Dylan Cozens scored the first Canadian goal of the 4-3 win

Whitehorse’s Dylan Cozens and the rest of Team Canada are returning from the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship with gold following a 4-3 victory against Russia in the final on Jan. 5 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

The win was a redemption of sorts for Canada after losing 6-0 to Russia — Canada’s worst defeat at the tournament — in the group stage.

Things started slowly in the game, with the Canadians taking and subsequently killing off four penalties in the opening frame. Through 20 minutes, the game was scoreless with Russia outshooting Canada 10 to 7 in the first.

The game opened up in the second period when Russian Nikita Alexandrov beat Canadian goalie Joel Hofer on the power play to give Russia the lead 1-0 just under 10 minutes into the second period. Assists on the goal went to Yegor Zamula and Grigori Denisenko.

After Russia took two penalties simultaneously — Danil Zhuravlyov for slashing and Dmitri Voronkov for holding — it didn’t take long for Canada to equalize as Cozens found the back of the net with 8:59 left in the second to tie the game 1-1. Assists on the Cozens goal went to Joe Veleno and Alexis Lafreniere.

Russia quickly responded though, when Denisenko with just over five minutes left in the second to give the Russians a 2-1 lead. Assists on the goal went to Alexander Romanov and Yegor Sokolov.

The Russian lead grew again in the third period, when Maxim Sorkin scored with just over 11 minutes left to play to make it 3-1 for Russia.

Far from over, the game was back to a one-goal contest after Connor McMichael scored with 10 minutes and 40 seconds left to play, assisted by Calen Addison and Bowen Byram.

A Voronkov cross-checking penalty gave Canada another power play opportunity and captain Barrett Hayton wasted no time, scoring just 10 seconds into the man advantage to tie the game at 3-3. Assists on Hayton’s goal went to Addison and Lafreniere.

With the prospect of overtime looming, a game-winning goal for Canada came from a rather unlikely source as Akil Thomas scored with just under four minutes remaining to make the score 4-3.

The play started with Addison clearing his own zone with a slap pass along the boards as McMichael was able to deflect the puck past the Russian defence, allowing Thomas to burst in at speed and go forehand-backhand to beat the goalie.

The goal was Thomas’s first of the tournament and only his second point, but Thomas is no stranger to scoring as the Niagara Ice Dogs captain has 44 points in 27 Ontario Hockey League games this season.

Cozens finished the tournament with two goals and seven assists for nine points in seven games at the tournament, tied for third on Team Canada. Despite missing eight games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes due to the World Junior Championship, Cozens is still in the top 15 in Western Hockey League scoring.

Sweden defeated Finland 3-2 to win bronze. In the semifinals on Jan. 4, Canada defeated Finland 5-0 while Russia beat Sweden 5-4 in overtime.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Dylan CozenshockeyIIHF world junior hockey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 cases up to seven as YG rolls out border checkpoints

“We’re in this for the long haul and we need to look after ourselves physically and mentally”

Second man pleads guilty to manslaughter in 2017 Carmacks death of Wilfred Charlie

Tyler Aaron Skookum pleaded guilty to manslaughter the morning of April 6 in midst of murder trial

Man arrested after allegedly threatening to kill City of Whitehorse employee

The man has been charged with uttering death threats and the unsafe storage of firearms

Fourth person recovers from COVID-19

No new cases in the territory.

Wyatt’s World

John Hopkins-Hill News Reporter… Continue reading

Carcross/Tagish First Nation postpones general election

Carcross/Tagish First Nation has postponed its general election for chief until further… Continue reading

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in postpones election of chief

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in has postponed its election for chief after all three candidates… Continue reading

Organizers continue to plan for Reckless Raven

Significant changes or eventual cancellation not ruled out

City readies for another food truck season

Physical distance will be encouraged

Comprehensive Review of HSS report extended 30 days

The Yukon government has given the independent expert panel, charged with the… Continue reading

Yukon government announces supports for businesses forced to cancel events, clarifies precautions for mining industry

Temporary funding program passed to help businesses and NGOs who lost money on cancelled events.

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week. Formalizing… Continue reading

Air North not informed by officials of COVID-19 case, president says

Joe Sparling says Air North learned via social media that passenger on flight had COVID-19

Most Read