I look back at the worst calls, player choices, and coaching decisions in the history of the World Junior Tournament. One entry for every day of the event, so check back often!
Canada has a long standing history of success in the World Junior Hockey Championships. From 1974-1976 when it was just an invitational tournament, Canada picked up a medal in all three (a bronze and two silvers). Recognition as an official tournament has been acknowledged by the IIHF as having started in 1977, and in the first 8 years the Canadians won medals four times. They followed that up with 13 medals in the next 17 tournaments leading into 2002.
2002, hosted by the Czech Republic, started a streak of 6 out of the next 7 World Juniors that saw Canada and Russia battling for the gold medal.
Canada had a 2-1 lead heading into the 2nd period but Russia stormed back, winning the period 3-1 and holding a 4-3 lead with 20 minutes left. After Canada tied it at 4, the Russians scored again and clung to a one goal lead in the dying seconds.
With 6 seconds left and Canada pressing hard, that’s when Russian goaltender Andrei Medvedev got away with one big time. With no one around him and no reason for it to be an accident, Medvedev leaned on his right post and blatantly knocked the net off, negating any scoring chance Canada had. Either not noticing or not caring, the officials let play continue and the clock ticked down to nothing, giving Russia it’s 2nd World Junior Hockey Championship gold and cementing this incident in the archives of Historical Tough Call.