International Ice Hockey Federation

History will be made

History will be made

Canada, Finland trying for something special

Published 22.05.2016 15:08 GMT+3 | Author Andrew Podnieks
History will be made
Finland's Jesse Puljujarvi, Sebastian Aho and Patrik Laine show their World Junior gold medals (insert: Joona Koppanen with the U18 trophy). Finland has won U18 gold and U20 gold this year. Can it be the first to achieve the golden triple? Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Yes, Canada and Finland are playing for a gold medal tonight in the final game of the World Championship, but both teams also have extra incentive to win.

For Finland, the path to history is clear. If Suomi wins gold it will be the first country to win U18 gold, U20 gold, and World Championship gold in the same year.

The only other country to come this close was Canada in 2008. After winning the junior double, it hosted the 100th anniversary World Championship and advanced to the gold-medal game. Russia, though, won in overtime to put this achievement on hold.

What makes this triple an extraordinary feat is that it requires three completely different teams and shows an incredible depth and strength throughout the Finnish program.

The only player to win gold at both the U18 and U20 this year was Jesse Puljujarvi, who isn’t in Moscow. He is now only the third player to achieve the junior double, following Americans Jason Zucker and Jack Campbell in 2010.

The only three players to appear at the U20 and Worlds are Patrik Laine, Sebastian Aho, and Mikko Rantanen.

Puljujarvi in the future has the opportunity to join another exclusive group of players who have won career gold in U18, U20, and Worlds, all Russians – Denis Grebeshkov, Fyodor Tyutin and Alexander Perezhogin.

As well, they could dream big and work towards becoming the first ever to crack the golden gold of U18, U20, Worlds, and Olympic. No player has yet to do this.

For Canada, two players have extraordinary achievements riding on victory today. Corey Perry would become the 27th member of the Triple Gold Club, following on the heels of countryman Sidney Crosby, who made #26 last year in Prague, captaining Canada to gold.

Additionally, the incredible Connor McDavid could establish a record that would be virtually unbeatable. At 19 years of age, he’d be the youngest ever to win U18, U20, and World Championship gold. He was part of Canada’s 2013 U18 team, the 2015 U20 team in Toronto, and now this year.

Perezhogin was 25 when he helped Russia win gold in 2009 to accomplish this, and Grebeshkov and Tyutin were 24, in 2008.

Both teams have enough motivation to go for the gold, but they also have that something special to look forward to. Gold medals will be handed out tonight, but for the winners history will be made in more ways than one.


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