'Couldn't ask for a better win': Fans ecstatic after Canada world junior gold in Halifax

Fans at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax jumped to their feet after Dylan Guenther scored in overtime to give Canada its second straight world junior gold medal. (Héloïse Rodriguez - image credit)
Fans at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax jumped to their feet after Dylan Guenther scored in overtime to give Canada its second straight world junior gold medal. (Héloïse Rodriguez - image credit)

The crowd at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax was buzzing on Thursday night after Canada's gold-medal win over Czech Republic at the world junior hockey championship.

Dylan Guenther netted the game-winner goal at 6:22 of overtime to give the Canadian team a 3-2 victory after the Czechs scored two goals late in the third period to tie the game.

"Golden goal, can't ask for more," said one fan who drove down from Moncton to watch the final.

Hundreds of Halifax fans gathered in sub-zero temperatures to watch the game on screens outside the Halifax Convention Centre, a few blocks from the arena.

After Canada clinched the gold medal, fireworks lit up the sky near Halifax's Town Clock, just across the street from the arena.

A couple from Toronto said they were in Halifax for the last two rounds of the tournament and were ecstatic to see Canada finish on top.

"How else can you feel? Canada won gold," one of them said. "Couldn't ask for a better win."

Robert Guertin/CBC
Robert Guertin/CBC

The fan celebrations extended across the country, including an impromptu parade in the Nunavut community of Baker Lake.

Canada earned a spot in the final after handing the U.S. a 6-2 loss in the semifinal on Wednesday.

The red and white went undefeated after losing the tournament opener to the Czech Republic 5-2 on Boxing Day.

After two periods, Canada was positioned to exact revenge with a 2-0 lead. But the Czechs rallied with two goals 54 seconds apart.

Halifax and Moncton offered to host the 2023 tournament after it was taken away from Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The Russian team was also banned from competing.

Scotiabank Centre in Halifax set an attendance record during Canada's semifinal match against the U.S. on Wednesday with 10,636 people in the stands. An attendance number has not yet been released for the gold-medal game.

Canada has now won back-to-back gold medals after defeating Finland in August to win the 2022 world junior championship, which had been postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the tournament in December 2021.

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