Saturday, 19 December 2015

Merry Christmas, McMann

The World Junior A Championships have been going on in Cobourg and Whitby, Ontario for the past week or so, and there has been some solid action. If you missed the highlights, Team USA won the bronze medal after thumping Canada East by a 7-1 score on Friday night, and tonight featured the gold medal game between Canada West and Russia. Switzerland and the Czech Republic were also in the mix, but they were already on their way home after going 0-3 in the round robin, respectively, but it's been a good tournament overall as the action has been solid. However, tonight's gold medal game featured a gift-wrapped goal that, for better or worse, was the difference between gold and silver.

Tied 0-0 early in the third period with a face-off deep in the Russia zone, we pick up the action via TSN. Oh, and allow me to wish Bobby McMann a Merry Christmas from Russia's Aleksandr Iakovenko before you play this video.
Yikes. That was one helluva giveaway. I'll say that I believe that Iakovenko was looking to reverse the puck to forward Artur Kayumov who originally dished him the puck, but Kayumov went to the corner and just stood there while Iakovenko panicked behind the net. Ultimately, it's Iakovenko who is responsible for this brutal turnover, but Kayumov did nothing to support his teammate by heading to the corner and watching this unfold.

McMann's goal was the first for Canada in this game, and it helped Canada West win the gold medal in a 2-1 final. Despite giving up one legitimate goal and the above goal he had no chance on, goaltender Mikhail Berdin looked impressive in his efforts in the Russian net. The Ufa-born goalie plays for Severstal Cherepovets in the KHL, and he appears to have a bright future tending nets either in Russia or abroad.

Canada West wins their fifth gold medal at the World Junior A Championships! Congrats to all the players, coaches, and staff who worked on this team as they come out of Ontario golden once more!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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