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WJC: Gauthier's Goals Set Up Rematch

by Mike Sundheim @MikeSundheim / CarolinaHurricanes.com

A year ago, Julien Gauthier was part of the Canadian junior team that failed to qualify for the semifinal, falling in the quarterfinal of the 2016 World Junior Championship. A Finnish forward named Sebastian Aho had a goal and two assists in that game, and his team went on to win gold in Helsinki. 

This year, it's Gauthier playing at home. And playing for gold.

For the second consecutive night, the Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., native brought the Bell Centre crowd to its feet with a pair of goals - including another game-winner - to propel Canada into the final and a rematch against the United States. 

Though he wasn't credited with an assist, fellow Canes prospect Nicolas Roy had a big hand in Gauthier's second-period game-winner. Roy forced the initial turnover that allowed Canada to gain the zone and then provided pressure on the forecheck. Gauthier then went to the front of the net to break the tie.

Watch: Youtube Video

Another Hurricanes prospect, Jake Bean, got on the score sheet in the third period, earning an assist on Canadian captain Dylan Strome's goal. The Calgary native was plus-1 in 21:37 of ice time in the semifinal.

Gauthier iced the game with just under two minutes remaining, snapping one into the empty net from just outside the Swedish blue line. 

Tweet from @ubirdofparadise: Gauthier scores an EN 5-2 #TeamCanada #CANvsSWE #WorldJuniors #WJC2017 pic.twitter.com/ZKjkcDjZEi

It marks the second consecutive time Canada has advanced to the final of the World Junior Championship when playing on home ice. Canada beat Russia in the gold-medal game at Air Canada Centre in 2015. 

Roy Impresses

With his second consecutive multi-goal effort in the medal round, Gauthier now ranks tied for fifth in the tournament in goals (5) and tied for eighth in points (7). But he isn't the only Carolina forward prospect drawing raves in Montreal. 

Tweet from @ArponBasu: Hurricanes have Nicolas Roy AND Julien Gauthier coming. Seems like that's a positive for them.

Roy, the Hurricanes fourth-round selection has two goals and an assist (3 points) and is plus-2 for the tournament. He's also in the top 20 in face-offs (51.5%) at World Juniors. 

Tweet from @Prospects_Watch: Nicolas Roy going to be a real good NHLer, size, good skater, smart. #Canes #WJC2017

Tweet from @emilullbrand: As @TSNBobMcKenzie said, Nicolas Roy is a 4th round pick who is playing as a 1st round pick.

USA-Canada Part II

On New Year's Eve, the United States took down Canada 3-1 at Air Canada Centre to capture the top seed out of Group B. 

This time, gold will be on the line. 

It marks the fourth time the U.S. and Canada have met in the final. Canada defeated the U.S. in Switzerland, but the U.S. took the two most recent gold-medal showdowns - in 2004 and 2010. 

Gauthier, for one, expects the Canadians to be better tonight than they were on Dec. 31. 

Tweet from @HC_WJC: How will @HC_Men play against the USA, @ju_gauth12? #WorldJuniors #SWEvsCAN pic.twitter.com/faNg05BL1o

Face-off for the gold-medal game is at 8 p.m. tonight at Bell Centre. The games airs in the U.S. on NHL Network.

Schedule: Hurricanes Prospects in the 2017 World Junior Championship

December 26

Czech Republic 2, Finland 1
Canada 5, Russia 3

Recap: Roy's Goal Highlights Canada's Opening Win

December 27

Denmark 3, Finland 2
Canada 5, Slovakia 0

Recap: Gauthier Out-Shoots Slovakia & Aho Looks Back

December 29

Sweden 3, Finland 1
Canada 10, Latvia 2

Recap: Gauthier, Roy Score in Canada Blowout

December 31

United States 3, Canada 1
Finland 2, Switzerland 0

Recap: Welcome to the Quarters

January 2

Quarterfinals
Canada 5, Czech Republic 3

Relegation round
Finland 2, Latvia 1

Recap: Gauthier's Pair of Goals Propels Canada

January 3

Relegation round
Finland 4, Latvia 1 (Finland wins best-of-three series 2-0)

January 4

Semifinals
Canada 5, Sweden 2

January 5

8 p.m.: Gold medal game, United States vs. Canada (NHL Network, TSN)

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