As we come to the end of our “12 Days of World Juniors”, we highlight what’s possibly the greatest game in Canadian World Junior history.
Let’s go back to the 2009 tournament in Ottawa. Canada had already completed one crazy comeback in this World Juniors when they beat the USA on New Year’s Eve.
After winning their group, Canada matched up against Russia in the semifinals.
The game was a back and forth battle, with each team keeping the score even throughout the third period. The Russians didn’t take the lead in the game until there was under three minutes left in the third period.
Canada had scored the go ahead goal four times in the game and Russia quickly answered. At the 57:40 mark, Russian forward Dmitri Koplov pushed the puck past Canadian goalie Dustin Tokarski. Russia had their first lead with just a few minutes left in regulation.
Canada needed to tie the game up if they wanted to have a chance to play in the gold medal game. They pulled their goalie to get an extra attacker.
With an empty Canadian net and just 41 seconds remaining, Klopov had the puck on his stick but iced it in an attempt to score an empty netter from his own zone. Instead of skating it to the red line and dumping it, the Russian forward tried to end the game from his own zone. This mistake would end up haunting the Russians.
With the puck inside the Russian zone, 17-year-old defenceman Ryan Ellis jumped on the glass to prevent the puck from leaving the zone. John Tavares was able to fish the puck out of a scrum and he fed it to the front of the net.
The puck was blocked by Russia defenceman Dmitri Kulikov, but 18-year-old Jordan Eberle took the puck from the sprawling Kulikov and pulled a toe-drag deke on goalie Vadim Zhelobnyuk. Eberle beat Zhelobnyuk and put the puck in the back of the net, tying the game at 5-5 with just 5.4 seconds remaining.
The packed crowd of 19,327 erupted in Scotiabank place as the hometown kids just tied the game up in one of the craziest sequences in hockey history.
TSN commentator Gord Miller once again had a classic call when he shouted “Eberle scores, tie game, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!”
I was just eight when this goal happened and I jumped off the couch and screamed.
The game went to a shootout where once again, Eberle came in clutch. He scored the first Canadian shootout goal, while assistant captain John Tavares buried the insurance goal. Canada won the shootout 2-0 and moved onto the gold medal game where they would face Sweden.
The Canadians went on to win their fifth straight gold medal, tying a record for most consecutive gold’s by one country in the World Juniors.
Eberle’s golden goal was one of the greatest goals in Canadian hockey history and it is a perfect way to end our first ever “12 Days of World Juniors” on The Intermission Sports.