Oh my sweet mercy did you watch the gold medal game at the World Juniors last night? Not only was it incredible hockey between two really good teams stocked with future NHL players, but the drama was ridiculous! And the ending… wow!
- The opening 60 minutes of the gold medal game at the World Junior Championship were terrific. Canada took a 2-0 lead, only to watch that lead evaporate in the third period. Finland, who many felt were the favorites to win this edition of the WJC when it began, battled back against a Canadian squad that was bigger, stronger and certainly faster.
- In overtime, Anaheim Ducks forward prospect Mason McTavish — who really stole the show for Canada the entire tournament — made what will go down in hockey history as one of the greatest plays ever (in any tournament).
- That puck was absolutely going into the net and winning the gold for Finland, but McTavish somehow made the stick save (and a beauty!) and cleared the puck to the corner. I think Connor Bedard speaks for everyone who watched that play live.
- After the McTavish save, Canada went the other way in a hurry and won it with a golden goal from Blue Jackets forward Kent Johnson. He made a crazy move to beat the goaltender before tripping over a heap of bodies. This goal would have easily been the story/image of the game if not for McTavish’s heroics.
- For Blackhawks prospect Ethan Del Mastro, the gold medal caps a wild year. He was drafted by the Blackhawks in the fourth round last year, signed his entry-level contract with the Hawks at the end of April and had a good development camp in Chicago before not making the team for Canada. Del Mastro got a last minute invite because of an injury.
- Del Mastro skated only 8:26 in the gold medal game. He was a physical player for Canada who often cleaned up messes and reminded players on the other teams there were consequences for hitting his teammates.
- In the bronze medal game earlier in the day, Sweden captured third place with a 3-1 win over Czechia. Blackhawks forward prospect Victor Stjernborg skated 13:30 in the game and won six of ten faceoffs in the win.
- If you’re looking for reasons to cheer for new members of the Blackhawks, there are dozens of reasons to be excited about Colin Blackwell signing a two-year deal in Chicago. But Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times penned a wonderful bio on the forward whose career continues to defy the odds. Give this a few minutes of your time.
- The Blackhawks announced the start time of their game on Saturday, Oct. 15 in San Jose has been changed to 9 PM CT.
- On Saturday we spent some time digging into where Blackhawks prospect Landon Slaggert does his best work: in front of the net. With video evidence from this summer’s World Juniors and his most recent season at Notre Dame, Slaggert has shown a willingness and ability to go to the dirty areas around the net to get it done.
- In case you missed it this week, the Blackhawks signed former University of Denver captain Cole Guttman this week. Guttman, who was originally drafted by the Lightning, led the Pioneers to a national championship this season. He becomes the latest link in a long history between DU and the Blackhawks organization.
- Finally, while we’re not big fans of talking about veteran players unhappy with “the process” given the current state of affairs with the Blackhawks, it was at least good news to Bears fans that Roquan Smith reported for duty this weekend. But listening to him talk about negotiations with the Bears was eye-opening.
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