The Final games were played at the CEZ Arena in Pardubice, Czech Republic today. Canada won their fourth straight U-20 Men's World Junior Ice Hockey Championship. Not much of a surprise to the many Canadian fans that made the journey to cheer for their team. The surprise in this tournament was Team USA ending up in fourth place after going undefeated until the Semi Final round.
Russia beat USA 4-2 to win the Bronze Medal. Apparently the American Juniors' play was a little flat compared to earlier games, including the preliminary game in which they had defeated Russia. Nikita Filatov scored the game winning third Russian goal in the first period, assisted by Alexei Cherapanov. Jeremy Smith was then replaced in net by Joe Palmer. USA scored their second goal with a little over six minutes left in the game. But, penalties kept them from getting a chance to tie it up before running out of time.
To win the Gold, Canada had to defeat Team Sweden. Sweden had previously beaten Canada in their third game of the tournament. They knew it was going to be a tough close game. And it was. Canada scored the first goal just over a minute into the first period, and got their second at the end of the first. But, Sweden eventually scored in the third. Sweden's second came with just 38 seconds left in regulation, sending the game into overtime. At 3:36 into OT, Wayne Simmonds got the game winner, and the hard fought game was over. Canada won 3-2.
Of course, most of the awards went to Canadian players. Canada's goaltender Steve Mason won Best Goalkeeper and the tournament's MVP award. The 2009 Men's World Junior Championship games will be played in Ottawa, Canada.