The field’s been whittled down to two, Denmark and Slovakia have been dispatched, and Canada now looks forward to facing its old rival Russia in tonight’s World Junior gold medal final.
“A Canada-anyone final appeals to me at this point,” Sam Reinhart told reporters on Sunday night, after his team’s 5-1 defeat of Slovakia in the semifinals. “That definitely adds to it (that we’re playing Russia). It’s exciting obviously, a lot of history there between Canada and Russia.
“You can’t look a lot into our preseason game against them,” he continued. “We’ve both played a lot of hockey and I can only imagine gotten a lot better since then.
“I think we have to keep our pace up against them, and I’d be surprised if it wasn’t a very physical game.”
In the pre-tournament exhibition game Reinhart referred to, Russia beat Canada 2-1 in overtime. Canada outshot Russia, peppering goalie Ilya Sorokin with 52 shots, and was playing without its final roster. Following that game, Canadian brass cut Rourke Chartier, Jason Dickinson, Michael Dal Colle, and Haydn Fleury to get its roster down to 22 players.
Zach Fucale gets the start for Canada. It will be his third-straight, after allowing just one goal in his previous two games against Denmark and Slovakia.
*Tonight’s game starts at 5 p.m. PST – pre-game coverage begins on TSN at 4:30 p.m.
Video/Files: The Canadian Press