|Canada is golden again at the world junior hockey championship.|
Akil Thomas scored with 3:58 left in the third period to cap a furious comeback and secure a 4-3 victory for the country’s 18th title at the annual under-20 tournament.
The Los Angeles Kings prospect stretched to grab a loose puck before roofing a backhand for his first goal of the tournament past Amir Miftakhov, sending the Ostravar Arena crowd into a frenzy.
Connor McMichael, Dylan Cozens and Barrett Hayton, in a gutsy return from injury, provided the rest of the offence for Canada.
Joel Hofer, who wasn’t on Hockey Canada’s radar before the fall and started the tournament as the backup, got the win, while Alexis Lafreničre and Calen Addison each added two assists.
Grigori Denisenko, Nikita Alexandrov and Maxim Sorkin replied for the Russians, who have lost four finals since last winning gold in 2011.
Hayton, who entered Sunday tied for the tournament scoring lead with 11 points, hurt his left shoulder in Saturday’s 5-0 drubbing of Finland, but was good to go against Russia. Bowen Byram, meanwhile, recovered from an illness that kept the defenceman sidelined for the semifinals.
Russia advanced to the final thanks to 5-4 overtime victory against Sweden, which beat Finland 3-2 for bronze earlier Sunday.
Canada Press 1/5/2020