Yes, it’s that time of the year again. The time that we hockey fans look forward to every year, The World Juniors. Not even a pandemic could stop the IIHF from hosting the greatest tournament of the year. On January 5th last year, Team Canada had a storied run to take home Gold by beating team Russia in the finals. With Canada’s training camp underway, it’s time to get back into the spirit of things with hockey fast approaching. What better way to excite all fans than putting together the best goals scored by Team Canada at the 2020 tournament.
10. Just How The Coach Drew It Up – Barrett Hayton
Canada wasted no time getting things started on a long five-minute major. Just 18 seconds into the power play, Canada got back on the board with a textbook power play goal. Joe Veleno made the initial pass from the blue-line to Dylan Cozens, who was waiting on the left side. From there, he deflected it perfectly across the crease to Barrett Hayton, who got the puck off his stick right away, this capping off a textbook power play. While the initial shot looked to be stopped, it was quickly deemed to be a goal by the referee.
9. A Cross-Crease Goal Gets Canada On The Board – Connor McMichael
If you are familiar with the EA Sports NHL video game series, then you have probably scored this goal at least a few hundred times. With that being said, Akil Thomas played the puck perfectly to Connor McMichael, who was able to tap the puck past the five-hole of American goaltender Spencer Knight. Thomas was able to get the puck under Jordan Harris, who seemed to have his body and stick down in the right position to intercept the pass. McMichael’s goal got Canada on the board to kick off their thrilling comeback over Team USA.
8. McMichael Beats Annunen With A Sharp Angle Shot – Connor McMichael
I can guarantee you that after allowing this goal, Justus Annunen looked back at the video replay about a dozen times to see exactly what happened. A goal from a sharp-angle, such as the one above, are always the ones that goaltenders wish they could take back, but in this case, there was nothing Annunen could have done differently here. He was positioned perfectly, but was just beat by a shot that was as good as any. Annunen is six-foot-four and 209lbs, so it’s not like he can blame his size for allowing it. It was a shot that even the best in the NHL likely would have allowed.
7. Lafreniere Channels His Inner Crosby – Alexis Lafreniere
Sidney Crosby is known for his unparalleled success, shooting the puck on his backhand. On this play, Lafreniere looked just like the Penguins captain. Nolan Foote got the puck on his stick after a lucky bounce off the Finnish defender. While three defenders were focused on Foote, Lafreniere was right there, just a step in front of him waiting to relieve his lineman. Foote put it perfectly in the tape of Lafreniere, who made no mistake rifling it short-side on his backhand. They clearly teach proper technique when shooting off the backhand in Rimouski, as both Crosby and Lafreniere excel at it.
6 . It All Starts With The Forecheck – Barrett Hayton
When coaches said “Get pucks in deep,” this is why. It all started with Kevin Bahl dumping in the puck. Slovakia recovered the puck, but was met on each side by a player in a red and black sweater. Dylan Cozens poked the puck away from the defender, right into the stick of Alexis Lafreniere. While Slovakia was focused on getting the puck back, Barrett Hayton got himself right in front of the goalie and was ready for the one-timer goal.
5. Toe Drag Followed By The Snipe – Jacob Bernard-Docker
No that wasn’t Mitch Marner, it was Jacob Bernard-Docker. After receiving the puck, Bernard-Docker was met by a Slovakian defender, who kneels down to block the shot. The Senators prospect pulled off a perfectly timed toe-drag, leaving the defensemen helpless and proceeded to beat the goaltender with a perfectly placed shot that went in on the far side. A stunning goal on a great individual effort from No. 5.
4. Foudy Seals The Win Against Slovakia – Liam Foudy
Foudy alone against the goaltender, was there ever any doubt about the result. The speedy winger received the puck on the tape of his stick while right next to the opposing defensemen. He had a stride ahead of the poor Slovakian defensemen, who didn’t have a chance to stop him. In alone with the goaltender, the former London Knight placed the puck perfectly on his backhand to seal Slovakia’s fate not even half way through the game.
3. Lafreniere Follows The Play And Batts The Puck Out Of Mid-Air – Alexis Lafreniere
In a thrilling third period against their rivals at Team USA., leave it to Alexis Lafreniere, a Quebec sensation, to end the game like that. While Nolan Foote pressured USA defensemen K’Andre Miller, Lafreniere was closely following, stalking his prey while ready to pounce. When Miller passed the puck back to his defensemen for some help, Lafreniere made his move by batting the puck out of mid-air, securing it and beating goaltender Spencer Knight as he potted the game-winning goal.
2. Lafreniere Dances In Close And Hayton Finishes The Job
The more you watch this goal, the better it looks. Lafreniere was perfect on this play by drawing all four defenders onto him during the power play, leaving Barrett Hayton with room to do the rest. Moving from his forehand to his backhand, the 2020 first overall pick was somehow able to keep the puck on his stick with four other players reaching in, looking to disrupt with the use of their own sticks. Once the puck was off Lafreniere’s stick, Team Canada’s captain did the rest by letting out a rocket to give his team the two-goal lead. The more you watch this goal, the more impressive it is. How did Lafreniere not lose the puck?
- The Golden Goal – Akil Thomas
The goal that won Canada the Gold Medal comes in at No. 1. Not only was it a tournament clinching goal, but the goal itself was fantastic. Akil Thomas tracked the puck and was able to get to it at the last second, perfectly beating Russian goaltender Amir Miftakhov. He did so before roofing the puck with an excellent backhand, all while falling down. It was a goal worthy of winning a championship and that’s precisely what the goal resulted in.
For a little treat, here is Canada’s best blooper goal of the tournament.
Just How The Coach Drew It Out – Liam Foudy
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