Team Canada had a good showing throughout the 2021 World Championships, leading to them too many victories and eventually to the gold medal. The lineup sees a healthy mix of veteran talent and young guns, with top NHL draft prospect Owen Power being the youngest player to make the roster, and grizzled veteran Adam Henrique being the most experienced of the bunch. As well, veteran goalie Darcy Kuemper would start the majority of games for this hopeful Canadian side.
Team Canada first made it through the preliminary rounds after facing some tough competition, as they only hardly made it through, winning half of their games. They lost their first game after being shut out by Latvia, as well as losing their second to the United States in a seemingly epic scoring event for the Americans. The final game they lost that sparked a flame in team Canada was against the German team. After this, the Canadians went on to win their remaining three preliminary games and push through to the quarter-finals.
In the quarter-finals, the Canadians would face off against the Russians in a rivalry game that was highly contested. The two teams both scored a goal, and neither seemed to edge out the other. This saw the game go into overtime, where Team Canada sniped in the goal to take the victory. The overtime winner was scored by Calgary Flames star, Andrew Mangiapane. This gave Canada the upset victory and saw them move on to the semi-finals against the United States.
In a rematch that was anticipated to go heavily in favor of the States, Team Canada pulled off the upset yet again to win the game 4-2. Team Canada opened the scoring early with veteran Brandon Pirri scoring to strike first in just over two minutes played. The Canadians didn’t hold the lead for long as Colin Blackwell leveled the playing field with only a few minutes left in the first period. Mangiapane brought Canada back the lead and packed in a second goal to make it two in the third.
Sasha Chmelvski and team USA fought back to bring it to within one, but within the final minute of play, Team Canada brought it back to a two-goal lead, with a beauty shot by Justin Danforth. This hotly contested game saw team Canada move on to the finals, a result which most people wouldn’t have predicted as the team hadn’t started strong in the tournament.
Team Canada made it to the gold medal game against Finland, a nail-biter game that went into OT and would go to show team Canada has made a full comeback in the competition to win the gold. Team Finland started the game strong, scoring the opening goal almost halfway into the first period, for a strong start. Mikael Ruohomaa scored this goal after a beautiful play from Oliwer Kaski.
It took team Canada until four minutes into the second to bite back when on the powerplay, Max Comtois shot and found the back of the net, after being set up by Connor Brown and Sean Walker. Comtois showed that despite his young age, he fit right in with an aged Canadian line, and proved that he deserved his shot.
Team Finland fought back again and took back the lead in the third period, with Petteri Lindbohm snipping home a feed play. Team Canada needed to come back, and veteran Adam Henrique was the one to provide it for them. Henrique was set up by Comtois to see him have two points on the day. This goal saw the game get thrown into OT which was finished in six minutes, as Nick Paul put up his first of the tournament to win Canada the gold medal and the game.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 6, 2021
Overall, this team needed some time to figure out the right fit with each other, but once they did they were unstoppable, winning six in a row to see them take home gold. Each player had to play an important role in these victories, as no one could slow down this team when they were in their rhythm. Andrew Mangiapane was a key player for this team and had some outstanding performances across his time with the team. Overall a stellar performance from a team that wasn’t expected to make it overly far in the competition.
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