Playing on the biggest stage of his career thus far, in his hometown, Julien Gauthier went ahead and put his country on his back.
With the Czech Republic pressing in the third period against heavily-favored Canada, Gauthier scored twice - including the game-winner - to carry the Canadians into a semifinal showdown with Sweden.
Gauthier, 19, grew up in the Montreal neighborhood Point-aux-Trembles, just over 10 miles from the Bell Centre. With Canada up by a goal three minutes into the third period, he took a pass from fellow Carolina Hurricanes prospect Nicolas Roy and made no mistake.
Ray Ferraro's analysis of Gauthier's first goal has to be music to the ears of Hurricanes fans:
"I mentioned a couple of times I think this was Gauthier's best game of the tournament. In the first period he was the only Canadian forward that had any jump. He really got to the puck and created with his speed and size..."
"Gauthier gets to the net. This is all the Gauthier finish off of Roy's pass. Look at Gauthier kind of meander to the front of the net. Nicolas Roy continues his fine tournament and that is goal-scorer's finish from Julien Gauthier."
The Czechs kept fighting. After the Czech's Simon Stransky scored to cut the host's lead back to one at 4-3, Head coach Dominique Ducharme threw Gauthier and Roy's line right back out there.
They responded with this 43 seconds later.
After the game concluded, Gauthier, was awarded Player of the Game for Team Canada, in front of one proud mom.
Hurricanes 2016 first-round draft pick Jake Bean registered 18:23 in ice time from the blueline in the win. Roy, who Carolina selected in the fourth round of the 2015 draft, was plus-2 in 14:49 of ice time and had the primary assist on Gauthier's first goal. Gauthier was plus-1 and fired four shots on net.
The semifinals will take place on Wednesday, with the Canada-Sweden game airing at 7:30 p.m. on NHL Network in the United States. Team USA, which topped Switzerland on Monday to reach the semifinal, will face Russia at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, also on NHL Network.
Finland Takes Game 1
Being the first country in the history of the tournament to win the championship one year, and head to the relegation round the next, Finland topped Latvia 2-1 in game one of their three-game relegation series.
Hurricanes second-round pick Janne Kuokkanen, who has 40 points (15g, 25a) in 28 games for London (OHL) this season, skated 14:28 of ice time and had four shots in the win.
Schedule: Hurricanes Prospects in the 2017 World Junior Championship
Czech Republic 2, Finland 1
Canada 5, Russia 3
Recap: Roy's Goal Highlights Canada's Opening Win
Denmark 3, Finland 2
Canada 5, Slovakia 0
Recap: Gauthier Out-Shoots Slovakia & Aho Looks Back
Sweden 3, Finland 1
Canada 10, Latvia 2
Recap: Gauthier, Roy Score in Canada Blowout
United States 3, Canada 1
Finland 2, Switzerland 0
Recap: Welcome to the Quarters
Canada 5, Czech Republic 3
Finland 2, Latvia 1
5:30 p.m.: Finland vs. Latvia (Finland leads best-of-3 series 1-0)
7:30 p.m.: Sweden vs. Canada (NHL Network, TSN)
3:30 p.m.: Bronze medal game
8 p.m.: Gold medal game