Canada wins gold; U.S. comes in fifth
OTTAWA -- Canada won its fifth straight gold medal at the world junior hockey championships, beating Sweden 5-1 in the final Monday night.
The streak ties Canada's record of five consecutive titles in this tournament from 1993-97. Canada's 15th gold at the world juniors also matched Russia/Soviet Union for the all-time lead.
Canadian players jumped all over the ice to celebrate after the horn sounded to end their latest victory.
"There's nothing like it at all," forward John Tavares told TSN. "Listen to these fans. That's five, Canada. Five. That's what we were talking about."
Canada will go for a record six golds in a row at the 2010 world junior championships in Saskatoon and Regina.
Cody Hodgson scored twice for Canada, led by former NHL coach Pat Quinn. His team also got goals from Angelo Esposito, Jordan Eberle and defenseman P.K. Subban.
Tavares had two assists and finished tied with Hodgson for the tournament lead with 16 points. The 18-year-old Tavares, from Oakville, Ontario, was selected the tournament's most valuable player. He is a strong candidate to go No. 1 overall in the 2009 NHL draft.
"I can't say enough about all the guys, all 22 guys, the coaching staff," Tavares said. "There's nothing better than this."
Dustin Tokarski made 39 saves for the victory.
Joakim Andersson scored for Sweden and goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 shots.
The 20,380 fans at Scotiabank Place set a single-game attendance record at the world junior tournament. It was the fourth time a new mark was established in Ottawa, and it erased the previous high of 20,223 that was set during Canada's preliminary-round game against the United States.
The audience included Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"Throughout the tournament, Canadian players not only produced world-class hockey on the ice, they also represented our country with tremendous dignity and pride off the ice," Harper said in a statement. "I want to commend all of the players, coaches, volunteers, families and staff who contributed to this successful tournament.
"This is a well-deserved victory," he said.
The U.S. finished fifth at the tournament.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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