Canada has won the bronze medal in men’s hockey at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games after defeating Finland 4-2 on Wednesday at the Vaudoise Arena.
The bronze is Canada’s third medal in as many tries at the Youth Olympics; it won bronze at the inaugural Games in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012 and took silver in 2016 in Lillehammer, Norway.
Canada jumped out to an early lead when Antonin Verreault (Saint-Jérôme, Que./Saint-Eustache, LHMAAAQ) and Nate Danielson (Red Deer, Alta./Northern Alberta, CSSHL) scored in the opening three minutes, and Cédrick Guindon (Rockland, Ont./Rockland, HEOMAAA) added a third goal before the end of the opening frame. The Finns battled back to make it a one-goal game midway through the third period, but Guindon found the empty net with 32 seconds to go.
“I just did what I had to do. I went out there and gave everything I had,” said Guindon of his two goals. “I think everyone bought into their role and made sure we were on the right track to get the win.”
Canadian goaltender Vincent Filion (Shawinigan, Que./Trois-Rivières, LHMAAAQ) finished with 18 saves, 12 in the third period as the Finns pushed to tie the game.
Verreault led Canada in scoring with five points (three goals, two assists), one more than Guindon and Adam Fantilli (Nobleton, Ont./Kimball Union Academy, USHS).
“Our goal was to get better as the tournament went on, and I think we did an exceptional job at that,” said head coach Gordie Dwyer (Dalhousie, N.B.). “Our players bought in to how we have to play collectively as a group to be successful, and I thought we continued to grow as a team and individuals. We’re happy we’re finishing it off with a win, and winning an Olympic medal.”
Canada finished the preliminary round with a 1-1 record, falling to Russia 6-2 before blanking Denmark 6-0. It dropped a narrow 2-1 decision to its cross-border rivals from the United States in the semifinals.
The 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games brought together young athletes from around the world to participate in a unique cultural experience and international sporting competition.