Canada reclaims world junior crown on Steenbergen's surprise winner

Canada reclaimed gold at the World Junior Hockey Championship on late winner from Tyler Steenbergen. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)

Tyler Steenbergen, in just before the bell.

With 100 seconds left in regulation in Friday’s Gold Medal Final versus Sweden at the World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo, the only Canadian forward without a goal to that point – and who was limited to just a few shifts in the contest – cut to the net and steered in the tournament’s decisive goal on a brilliant feed from Conor Timmins.

Steenbergen’s winner, moments later insured at 3-1 with an empty-net goal from Alex Formenton, saw Canada seize its second gold medal in the last four years, and record 17th all time.

An unlikely winner for sure, but only when speaking in terms of Steenberger’s role as the 13th forward under coach Dominic Ducharme. With 35 goals and 61 points with the Swift Current Broncos, Steenbergen began the tournament as the highest-scoring forward this season on the entire Canadian roster.

A team devoid of upper-echelon NHL talent, Steenbergen’s winner proved emblematic for a Canadian team that truly did reclaim junior hockey supremacy with its depth.