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Oilers prospect Eberle puts Canada in Final

Jordan Eberle scores twice, once with five seconds left and again in the shootout to lift Canada to a 6-5 win

Saturday, 03.01.2009 / 11:05 PM / Future Watch
The Canadian Press
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Oilers prospect Eberle puts Canada in Final
Jordan Eberle, a first-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers, scored a pair of goals for Canada during regulation time, including one with five seconds left to tie things up and again in the shootout to lift his country to the Gold Medal Game with a 6-5 win.
Oilers prospect Jordan Eberle scores the game-tying goal with five seconds left in the third period (photo: Getty Images)
OTTAWA — Canada reached the final of the world junior hockey championship for an eighth straight year with a thrilling 6-5 shootout win over Russia in Saturday's semifinal.

The defending champs face Sweden, a 5-3 winner over Slovakia in an earlier semifinal, for the gold medal Monday (TSN, 7:30 p.m. ET).

It's a rematch of last year's world junior final in Pardubice, Czech Republic, where Canada beat the Swedes 3-2 in overtime for the country's fourth straight gold medal.

Canada will attempt a fifth Monday and tie the record for consecutive gold set between 1993 and 1997.

Jordan Eberle of the Regina Pats and John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals scored in the shootout. Dmitri Kurgryshev hit the post after Eberle scored. Dustin Tokarski of the Spokane Chiefs stopped Pavel Chernov for the win.

Eberle, a first-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers, scored a pair of goals for Canada during regulation time, including one with five seconds left to keep his country's hopes of a gold medal alive.

Brett Sonne of the Calgary Hitmen, Patrice Cormier of the Rimouski Oceanic and Angelo Esposito of the Montreal Junior also scored during regulation. Evander Kane of the Vancouver Giants had two assists. Tokarski stopped 23 of 28 shots in regulation.

Dmitri Klopov scored twice for the Russians, who also got goals from defenceman Maxim Goncharov, Evgeni Grachev and Sergei Andronov. Evgeni Dadonov had two assists. Goaltender Vadim Zhelobnyuk made 36 saves during regulation time.

Klopov gave Russia the lead for the first time in the game at 17:40 of the third period with his second goal of the game.

He got his stick on the puck during a goal-crease scrum and put it off the back of Tokarski's skate and across the goal-line.

But with 19,327 at Scotiabank Place on their feet and urging them on, Eberle produced his second goal of the game with just five seconds left.

Russian defenceman Dmitri Kulikov was on his knees in front of the net trying to freeze the puck, but Eberle stole it and beat Zhelobnyuk with a backhand.

Canada led 3-2 after the second period. Russian penalty troubles gave Canada a 12-3 shot advantage in the second, but it was Canada heading into the penalty box in the third.

Esposito's short-handed goal on a breakaway briefly gave Canada the lead at 5:44 of the third period, but Russia tied it up a fourth time on Andronov's power-play goal at 6:22.

Canada's P.K. Subban was called for tripping and Stefan Della Rovere was already in the penalty box for cross-checking, so Andronov converted the two-man advantage and beat Tokarski low glove side.

When Russian defenceman Vyacheslav Voinov lost his footing, Esposito made the most of it and shrugged of Goncharov to beat Zhelobnyuk with a backhand.

Grachev deadlocked the game 51 seconds into the third period. He intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and his blast found space between Tokarski and his post stick side.

Kelowna Rockets defenceman Tyler Myers knelt to block a shot by Maxim Chudinov early in the second period and it rocketed off his knee. Myers went immediately to the dressing room, but returned for the third period.

Russia had done its homework on Canada's power play, which was running at 60 per cent heading into the game. The Russians pushed the Canadians towards the boards, pressured the quarterbacks and quickly covered off the open man.

They held Canada to one power-play goal on nine chances. Eberle scored his first of the game at the end of a five-on-three at 16:40 of the second period.

Cody Hodgson's shot deflected off a Russian in front of the net and Eberle found the puck in his skates. His off-speed shot bobbled between Zhelobnyuk's pads.

The checking line of Cormier, Kane and Della Rovere was the most dynamic of the first 20 minutes as they created scoring chances and forechecked the Russians hard.

Just 16 seconds after Cormier gave Canada a 2-1 lead, Klopov deadlocked the game again by backhanding a rebound past Tokarski following a rush by Nikita Klyukin at 7:20.

Cormier snagged a loose puck in front and put a shot off a Russian defenceman and past Zhelobnyuk.

Goncharov scored Russia's first goal at 5:18, catching Canadian defenceman Alex Pietrangelo too far into the middle and wiring a shot from the top of the faceoff circle by Tokarski.

Canada scored first with Stefan Della Rovere cycling the puck down the boards to Kane behind the goal-line. Kane tapped the puck out to Sonne in front of the net for the first goal of the tournament for the St. Louis Blues draft pick.

Notes: Canadian defenceman Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires celebrated his 18th birthday Saturday. . . . Canada is 9-6-1 all-time in the world junior tournament versus Russia since 1993 and, before that, 5-10-1 versus the Soviet Union.
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