Back in January of this year, Cole Perfetti, the Winnipeg Jets first round pick from the 2020 NHL Entry draft, faced heartbreak when he and his Canada under-twenty teammates lost in the championship to the United States but yesterday Perfetti and Canada got a chance at redemption.
No Canada did not get redemption at the junior level or against the United States. They got a chance to win the 2021 IIHF World Championship in Riga, Latvia against Finland, who beat Canada in the 2019 championship game.
Canada had a crazy ride to the championship game. They lost their first three round-robin games by a combined score of 10-2 and could not afford to lose any of their remaining four group B games in regulation.
Canada then found their form and won three straight but after a shootout loss to Finland on the final day of group play, Canada needed help to get into the quarterfinals. Miraculously they got the help they needed and secured a spot in the final eight.
Canada entered the quarterfinals as the number four seed and had a matchup against top-seeded Russia, in which Canada pulled off a 2-1 upset win in overtime. Then in the semifinals, Canada avenged their 5-1 round-robin loss to the U.S. by beating them 4-2. This then set up a matchup for gold against Finland, who only had lost one game throughout the tournament.
Canada and, Winnipeg Jets prospect, Cole Perfetti beat Finland 3-2 in overtime to win gold at the World Championship
This championship game between Canada and Finland was everything you could ask for as Canada did again what they have done this whole tournament: Bounce back after being down.
Finland scored first to open the game and had one 1-0 lead after one. Canada then answered to tie the game at 1-1 in the second period and the teams went into the final period tied.
Just over five minutes into the final frame, Petteri Lindbohm put Finland ahead. But Canada stuck to their game plan and about seven minutes later, Adam Henrique equalized the scoreline.
Neither team found the back of the net in the late stages of the game, so this game required three-on-three overtime to find a champion.
Finally, Canada had a great opportunity when Nick Paul and Connor Brown attacked Finland’s zone on a two-on-one. Paul passed the puck to brown, and then Brown gave the puck back to Paul, who was wide-open on the back door.
Paul then slotted the puck into the net to give Canada the 3-2 win and the gold medal. The goal can be seen in the tweet below:
This goal and Canada’s gold were amazing especially considering Canada’s wild ride to the Gold. After their three losses to start the tournament, Canada was predicted to have one of their worst finishes, but they came back from the brink. Canada barely advanced to the quarters and that was all they needed as they beat the three top-seeded teams in single-elimination games to take home the gold.
Cole Perfetti only had two minutes and thirty-eight seconds of ice time in Canada’s championship win yesterday but did impress in the minimal shifts he had.
In the third place game, Manitoba Moose defensemen, Leon Gawanke and Germany lost to the U.S. 6-1. Although Germany did not finish with the bronze medal, they had an outstanding tournament finishing as the fourth seed.
Winnipeg Jets Fans: Do you think Cole Perfetti will make his Winnipeg Jets debut next season? Leave your comments below!
*All Stats and Videos Provided by the IIHF*