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A report card on Canada's performance at the world junior hockey championship

NHL.com @NHL

CALGARY - A report card on Canada's performance at the 2012 world junior hockey championship, rated on a scale of one to 10:

Overall: Previous Canadian junior teams have set a gold standard at this tournament. A bronze is nice, but ...

Score: 7 out of 10.

Goaltending ? A short-staffed and emotionally-drained Canadian team needed a big performance out of their goalie to win bronze. Canada got it from Mark Visentin in a 4-0 shutout of Finland. Both Scott Wedgewood and Visentin were outplayed by their Russian counterparts in a 6-5 semifinal loss and Canada's 56-24 shot advantage did not flatter them. Each netminder had two wins in pool play, but only Wedgewood's performance versus the Czechs was memorable.

Score: 7 out of 10.

Defence ? What looked like a deep defence on paper did not materialize. Head coach Don Hay relied too much on Brandon Gormley and 18-year-olds Dougie Hamilton, Scott Harrington and Ryan Murray. He had less confidence in Jamie Oleksiak and Mark Pysyk and it showed in their ice time, while Nathan Beaulieu had an inconsistent tournament.

Score: 5 out of 10.

Forwards ??? An up and down performance up front. The absence of the three NHL centres who could have played for Canada in this tournament was noticeable in the semifinal loss to Russia. The host country couldn't finish its many scoring chances. Losing winger Devante Smith-Pelly to a broken foot in the tournament opener was a major blow to Canada's gold-medal hopes because the Anaheim Duck is a difference maker. The line of Mark Stone, Ryan Strome and Jonathan Huberdeau was dominant in the preliminary round but went silent in Canada's final two games. There were questions about Brett Connolly's commitment to the Canadian junior team when the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning sent him to selection camp. But Connolly was Canada's most consistent forward.

Score: 6 out of 10.

Coaching ??? Don Hay had the country's best players at his disposal when he coached Canada to gold in 1995 because of an NHL lockout. He didn't this time. When his players melted down in the second period of the semifinal against Russia, he got their heads back in it. Canada mounted a comeback that fell one goal short of the equalizer. Canada never plays well for bronze in hockey, but the head coach got his players in the mindset to compete in the third-place game. Some will second-guess his decision to start Wedgewood in the semifinal, but he went with the goalie who at the time had the most confident demeanour.

Score: 7 out of 10.

Total: 32 out of 40.

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