The drive for five is very much alive.
And Canada will bring its bid for a record tying triumph to Ottawa and Scotiabank Place in 2009.
Matt Halischuk’s goal 3:36 into sudden-death overtime allowed Canada to edge Sweden 3-2 in a gold-medal game thriller at the 2008 IIHF world junior hockey championship in Pardubice, Czech Republic.
Canada carried a 2-0 lead into the third period but Sweden roared back for a pair of goals in the third period, including the tying tally with 38 seconds left in regulation time. It mirrored a Swedish rally just a week ago that produced a 4-3 triumph and ended Canada’s record 20-game WJC winning streak.
But the boys in red and white got much more than even this time in the extra session, giving Canada four straight golds at the world juniors. Canada won five straight titles from 1993-97, a standard it will try to equal at the 2009 tourney in Ottawa.
Canada and Sweden last met in a world junior final at the 1996 tourney in Boston. That Canadian team, which included Ottawa Senators defencemen Wade Redden and Chris Phillips
, prevailed by a 4-1 count. It also marked a fourth straight gold for the Canadians.
Even just under a year away, world junior fever is already gripping the nation’s capital.
Tournament organizers announced Saturday that all gold and silver ticket packages for the event have been sold out, meaning all seats in the 100 and 200 level at Scotiabank Place and all seats at the Ottawa Civic Centre have been taken off the market.
In all, nearly 11,500 ticket packages have been sold for the tournament. That represents a total of 320,000 tickets, and the host committee projects that number will surpass 400,000 for the event, which includes 17 games at Scotiabank Place and 14 at the Civic Centre.
Bronze 17-game ticket packages, which include all Team Canada and medal-round games at Scotiabank Place, are still available for $750 in the 300 level. They can be obtained by calling 613-599-FANS (3267), 1-877-788-FANS (3267), at the Senators box office or at www.capitaltickets.ca
Read more about Saturday's gold-medal victory here