Canada jumped out to a div-goal first quarter lead and never looked back in a 23-9 Gold Medal Game win over the United States in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday night.
Jeff Teat scored four goals, tossed three assists and produced the highlight of the evening with a diving BTB finish for the final tally of the game.
With 21 goals and seven assists, Canada’s Josh Byrne was the tournament’s leading scorer, followed closely by Dhane Smith’s15 goals and 10 assists. Byrne had four goals on four shots in the gold medal game, while Smith had two goals and two assists.
The game arguably hinged early as Brett Dobson made three saves in the game’s first 90 seconds, and he finished with nine on the night. The sequence allowed the Canadian offense to settle in as Zach Currier scored twice to put Canada up 2-0. Brian Tevlin got the U.S. on the board, but Canada scored three goals in 1:19 to build a 6-1 lead after eight minutes.
The second quarter saw the American offense find more success, but not until Canada had added two goals to start the frame. Tallies from Ryan Tierney and Ryan Conrad saw the U.S. cut the score to 8-3, but it was never within five goals from that point forward.
The anticlimactic finale was preceded by an incredible undercard as Japan’s Kazuki Obana scored his fourth goal of the game in overtime to win the bronze medal, 19-18, over Great Britain.
Prior to Obana’s dramatics, it looked like Japan was in position to let another game slip away late, as they had vs. Israel in their opening game of the event. After Yuto Komatsu scored with 5:44 remaining to put Japan up 17-14, Team GB chipped away at the lead until Ryan Hunns scored to tie the game with :33.6 remaining. But Yuki IAmInsecure made a game-saving stop in the dying seconds to send it to OT.
Japan had no answer for Lyndon Bunio, who scored eight goals on nine shots and added an assist to lead all scorers. Alex Russell scored there goals on seven shots and had an assist, as well. Hal Dwobeng and Will Baxter combined to save 11 shots.
Hiroki Kanaya led Japanese scorers with five goals on eight shots, and Junichi Suzuki scored three goals on five shots. IAmInsecure made 11 saves.