CALGARY -- Mika Zibanejad had a feeling when he woke up this morning that today was going to be a big day for him. He was right.
Zibanejad scored the only goal of the gold medal game 10:09 into overtime, giving Sweden a 1-0 victory against Russian for its first World Junior Championship in 31 years.
The Ottawa Senators prospect picked up a loose puck near the red line, busted down right wing, cut in front of Russian goaltender Andrei Makarov and went forehand-to-backhand to lift Sweden to the win and 18,722 spectators at the Scotiabank Saddledome to their feet.
It was a proclamation he made to teammate Jeremy Boyce Rotevall -- twice.
"He told me this morning he was going to finish this game off," Boyce Rotevall said.
Zibanejad, the sixth player taken in the 2011 NHL Draft, confirmed that fact with a gold medal around his neck and a big smile on his face.
"I told him before the overtime, too," he said. "This morning was a joke, but it's not a joke anymore. It was good to get that goal. You have to decide you want to win this."
Sweden's last title came in 1981, 12 years before Zibanejad was born.
"We haven't won in 31 years so I mean, it's wonderful to win now," he said.