By Sam Laskaris
December 17, 2013 (ISN) – For the record it’s not considered a hat trick. But the Number 3 will forever be etched in the memory of Canadian junior hockey fans. That’s because that’s the number of goals future Chicago Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews scored in a shootout in a semi-final game of the 2007 WJC.
In that match, held in Leksand, Sweden on Jan. 3, 2007, Canada and the U.S. were deadlocked at 1-1 following three periods of play.
A winner failed to emerge in the 10-minute overtime session. As a result, a shootout was required.
A classic ensued, featuring seven shots by each team, before Canada prevailed, thanks to Toews’ third shootout goal and an ensuing save by Canadian goalie Carey Price.
After the initial phase of the shootout, which featured three shooters each, the Canadians and Americans were still tied, having each scored twice, including a goal by Toews.
A sudden death shootout was then required.
Canadian coach Craig Hartsburg was free to choose anybody off his bench, including any of the first three shooters he had used.
For Canada’s fourth shot, he chose Toews, who netted his second goal. But when the Americans scored on their next shot, the contest continued.
Toews was also selected as Canada’s seventh shooter and managed to beat American netminder Jeff Frazee once again. Canada finally emerged with a 2-1 victory when Price stopped the next U.S. shooter.
Canada went on to defeat Russia 4-2 in the gold-medal match.