Canada wins in OT, secures 19th world junior title

EDMONTON, Alberta — Columbus Blue Jackets center Kent Johnson scored at 3:20 of three-on-three overtime to give Canada a 3-2 victory over Finland on Saturday night for its record-extending 19th world junior hockey title.

Johnson, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NHL draft, tucked home his own rebound after Canada blew a two-goal lead in the third period. The Canadians were 7-0 in the postponed event after Team USA won the 2021 tournament.

After being credited with just 13 shots over the first two periods, the Finns launched 17 shots on net in the third, with Aleksi Heimosalmi and Joakim Kemell scoring to send the game to overtime.

The Canadians had plenty of chances to bury the Finns, but went 0-for-7 on the power play in regulation.

Joshua Roy and William Dufour scored for Canada, and Dylan Garand made 29 saves. With two assists in the game, Mason McTavish was the tournament’s top scorer, with eight goals and nine assists. The 2021 first-round draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks was named the tournament’s MVP.

But McTavish’s finest moment was clearing what looked to be a tournament-winning effort from Topi Niemela off the goal line just seconds before Johnson notched the deciding goal.

In the third-place game, Sweden defeated the Czech Republic 3-1.

Isak Rosen, Fabian Lysell and Linus Sojodin scored for Sweden, and Jesper Wallstedt made 27 saves.

“You strive to win the last game,” said Rosen, a Buffalo Sabres prospect. “Of course we wanted the gold, but better bronze than nothing.”

Michael Gut scored for the Czech Republic and Tomas Suchanek stopped 20 shots.

The tournament originally opened Dec. 26 in Edmonton and Red Deer. Rising COVID-19 cases among players and officials caused the forfeiture of games and the event was halted after just four days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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