Canada will take home the 2018 World Junior gold medal after besting Sweden 3-1 in the final game of the tournament on Friday evening. Arizona Coyotes prospect Tyler Steenbergen got the game winning goal for Team Canada with 1:40 left in the game.
Team Canada had five power play opportunities on the game and while they converted none of them, Steenbergen’s game-winner came just moments after their final failed man-advantage.
Sweden outshot the Canadians by an advantage of 36-28, but goaltender Carter Hart stopped all but one attempt from their opponents.
Team Canada captain Dillon Dube opened the scoring two minutes into the second period. On a rush down the ice, Dube received a nice pass in tight from Jordan Kyrou. Dube was able to keep the Swedish defender off the puck before he snapped the puck over the glove of netminder Filip Gustavsson.
When it seemed Canada would have the chance to take over the game with a late second period power play, Sweden once again snapped any momentum with a shorthanded goal. Tim Soderlund took advantage of a nice defensive steal at the other end as he put the puck off the post above the glove of Carter Hart for the 1-1 tie goal.
In Sweden’s semifinal match against the United States, the team tallied two shorthanded goals.
Steenbergen broke open the game with less than two minutes to go in the third period. A nice feed from the top of the slot from Conor Timmins met Steenbergen at the front of Team Sweden’s net, where he tapped the puck in over Gustavsson for the ultimate game-winner.
It’s Tyler Steenbergen who’s the hero for Canada. Puts them ahead with less than two minutes remaining pic.twitter.com/AlGRB8uJiN— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 6, 2018
Alex Formenton capped off the gold medal game with the 3-1 empty net goal just moments later for Team Canada.
The gold medal is Canada’s first since 2015 and the country’s 17th gold medal in World Junior history.