Team Russia put up a valiant effort but lost to Canada 5-4 in the World Junior Championship. Silver sucks, but they got an awesome consolation prize. The team stuck around for two days in Toronto and hung out with fellow countrymen Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov after the Caps’ morning skate Wednesday.
On Monday night, the 2015 World Junior Championship final was held between Canada and Russia, and it was one a hell of a game. After going up 5-1, Canada gave up 3 unanswered goals to Russia in the second period. In the third, Canada bent but didn’t break, holding on until the final buzzer to win 5-4.
The chirping between Caps players was fast and furious on Twitter during the final, though mostly between roommates Tom Wilson and Michael Latta.
Capitals’ first-round pick Jakub Vrana scored two goals and one assist in five games at the World Junior Championship before his Czech Republic fell to Slovakia 0-3, failing to make the semifinals for the tenth straight tournament.
Madison Bowey and Team Canada will try to bring Wolrd Junior supremacy to Canada on home soil. (Photo: Hockey Canada)
On Friday, the 2015 World Juniors will be underway in Montreal and Toronto. Two groups of five teams will be battling for ten days to determine the strongest junior team on the planet. It’s arguably the most meaningful and most exciting annual international hockey tournament.
The Washington Capitals will not be well represented at the tournament unlike in years past. After the club decided to not release Andre Burakovsky in a controversial move, only three Caps prospects will be playing at the tournament: Canadian defenseman Madison Bowey and two Czech nationals, forward Jakub Vrana and goalie Vitek Vanecek.
The WHL’s Kelowna Rockets have made a huge trade, acquiring the Winnipeg Jets’ 13th overall pick from 2013 draft, defenseman Josh Morrissey, from the Prince Albert Raiders. It is likely that Morrissey, will play on Kelowna’s top defensive pairing with the Caps’ Madison Bowey.
Caps rookie Andre Burakovsky was scratched for the first time in his young career on Saturday night. On Monday, Burakovsky skated with the team’s scratches during practice. After averaging a point per game in opening weeks of the season, the dynamic 19-year-old center seems to have hit a wall.
Now it appears the Capitals, who have a ton of veteran depth at forward, are considering letting Burakovsky leave the team in mid-December to play in the 2015 World Junior Championship held in Montreal and Toronto– at least according to Team Sweden head coach Rikard Gronborg.
Washington Capitals 2013 first round pick Andre Burakovsky was fantastic in the 2014 World Junior Championships. The 18-year-old was a point per game player for Team Sweden, scoring three goals and tallying seven points in seven tournament games.
Ever since Malmo, Sweden was named host of the 2014 World Junior Championship several years ago, Swedish prospects have circled this date on their calendars, hoping they could win gold in front of their countrymen. Those are huge expectations for teenagers to bear.
On Sunday, Washington Capitals prospects Andre Burakovsky and Christian Djoos felt the stinging heartbreak that comes with those expectations being crushed in front of their hometown fans, losing in overtime of the title game. Sweden, which was arguably the most talented team in the tournament, fell to Finland in sudden death after Rasmus Ristolainen took the puck hard to the net and scored.
Many players on Team Sweden openly wept after the buzzer including team captain and former Capitals prospect Filip Forsberg. Forsberg, who was traded for Martin Erat and Michael Latta during last year’s trade deadline, was named MVP of the tournament and also to the tournament All-Star team. Though, judging by the photos, it did little to console him.
Andre Burakovsky rushes the puck up the ice. (Photo credit: Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)
In the gold medal game of the 2014 World Juniors, Team Sweden faced Team Finland. As the favourites and the hosts, the Swedes probably didn’t expect a cakewalk against arch-rivals Finland, who had embarrassed Canada in the semifinals, but what happened next may have surprised even the Finnish fans.
Suomi kicked the game off with a shocker just 28 seconds in, Esa Lindell opened the scoring. Tre Kronor were increasing the pressure, but it took them more than 25 minutes to tie on a goal by Lucas Wallmark. Not even a minute later, Finland came right back with a goal of their own on a great set up by Teuvo Teravainen, Saku Maenalanen beat Oskar Dansk. The Sweden again took the full control of the game, but had problems finding the net. With only nine minutes to go, a powerplay bomb by Capitals prospect Christian Djoos tied the game and forced overtime.