FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Brennan Othmann broke a tie with a sharp-angle shot early in the second period and Canada won the world under-18 hockey championship Thursday night, beating Russia 5-3 for its fourth title and first since 2013.
Captain Shane Wright scored twice, 15-year-old Connor Bedard — the youngest champion in tournament history — and Logan Stankoven also scored, and Benjamin Gaudreau made 31 saves for Canada.
“This win means the world to me,” Wright said. “It means the world to all of my teammates, our coaches and staff, and the entire country.”
Matvei Michkov, Dmitri Buchelnikov and Vladimir Grudinin scored for Russia.
Othmann beat goalie Sergei Ivanov high into the corner from deep in the zone to give Canada a 3-2 lead at 4:42 of the second. Stankoven made it 4-2 with 3:21 left in the period.
“We just stayed calm, didn’t panic, stuck to our game plan and system,” Wright said. “We were confident in ourselves to be able to come back. In the second, we just keep pushing hard, getting pucks in deep and exposed their defense down low. We kept it simple and knew we’d be successful with that.”
Grudinin pulled Russia within a goal on a power play at 9:37 of the third, and Wright sealed it with an empty-netter with 40 second to go. Canada won all seven of its games in the round-robin tournament, outscoring opponents 51-12.
“We scored the first goal every previous game, which is a great thing because you have a pretty good chance of winning the game,” coach Dave Barr said. “But we talked about it during the first intermission, about being behind and playing from behind, that we don’t change our game. It’s going to happen against a good team. We just did what we had to to work our way back in the game.”
Michkov opened the scoring for Russia at 5:13 of the first with his tournament-best 12th goal of the tournament. Bedard tied it with 4:01 left, Buchelnikov countered for Russia with 55 seconds to go, and Wright tied it again 10 seconds later.
“I’m proud of the way my team played tonight,” Russian coach Albert Leshyov. “They played with Russian character. We played for our country. It was a good game and I am proud of the way they played. Most certainly we started to lose our focus a bit in the second period, and that changed the way we played.”
Sweden beat Finland 8-0 in the third-place game. Isak Rosen scored twice for Sweden and Carl Lindbom made 35 saves.
Canada routed Sweden twice, 12-1 in the opener and 8-1 in the semifinals.