In 2022 the International Ice Hockey Federation (I.I.H.F) World Junior Championship was cancelled after four days of play in December 2021 due to players contracting COVID-19. Therefore, Canada lost the opportunity to reach its destiny for a short time.
Fast forward months later, I.I.H.F and Hockey Canada’s efforts to bring the tournament back to Canada paid off. With the vast majority of Canadians vaccinated against COVID-19, World Junior Hockey was back, but this time in the middle of Summer 2022, which saw Canada the championships.
Last night Team Canada needed a herculean effort from every member wearing the red and white to defeat an all-star team Czechia, filled with future National Hockey League (N.H.L) draftees. It was only fitting that the gold medal game went into overtime after millions of Canadians watched team Canada steamroll their opponents in the early rounds.
Goalie Thomas Milic stood on his head, stopping an onslaught of Czechia Snipers, but it was winger Dylan Guenther, an Arizona Coyotes prospect, that made the biggest play of the game when he one-timed the puck passed the Czechia goalie on a pass from his teammate to give Canada back to back gold medals.
Last night destiny prevailed. Team Canada was the favourite to win the tournament, and they did not disappoint. And although many nations have made tremendous strides in ice hockey, this is Canada’s game.
The 2024 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships are a year away and are being played in Sweden. Even though it will be played on a bigger ice thousands of kilometres away, and there is no home crowd advantage for Canada, it doesn’t matter. They will still be victorious in their quests for the elusive three-peat.