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VIDEO/PHOTOS: Canada beats Russia 5-4, wins World Junior gold

Canada jumped out to a 5-1 lead with goals from Duclair, Paul, Domi, Reinhart, and McDavid, then held on above a furious Russian rally

Canada has won U20 gold for the first time in six years, defeating Russia 5-4 in a frantic finale to the 2015 World Junior Hockey Championships in Toronto.

Canada led 5-1 in the second period before Russia rebounded with three goals in a 3:36 span, then held on through a scoreless, scary third period to win the country's first World Junior championship since 2009. (That tournament included another memorable Canada win over Russia, when Jordan Eberle scored to tie the game with five seconds remaining in that year's semifinal.)

Max Domi was named the tournament's best forward, and was named to Canada's top three players along with defenceman Darnell Nurse and linemate Sam Reinhart. Domi also led all players in the gold medal game with a goal and two assists.

Anthony Duclair opened the scoring for Canada just 23 seconds in, and Nick Paul made it 2-0 just two minutes later.

Canada almost ran away with the game before Dmitri Yudin scored to make it 2-1 to end the first.

In the second period, Canada roared out to pad their lead by four goals, to 5-1 with goals from Connor McDavid, Domi, and Reinhart. But Russia stormed back with three straight tallies from Ivan Barbashev, Sergei Tolchinski, and Nikolai Goldobin.

Russia outshot Canada 30-21 in the game and 21-9 in the final 40 minutes, and goalie Zach Fucale made a number of key saves late to help Canada hang on.

The game no doubt brought back memories of the Buffalo tournament in 2011, when Canada gave up a 3-0 lead to lose 5-3 to Russia in that gold medal final.

Reinhart, Nic Petan, and Connor McDavid tied for the tournament lead with 11 points.

Abbotsford's Jake Virtanen – a Vancouver Canucks draft pick – had an assist on Paul's goal and a couple big hits that brought the Toronto crowd to its feet, and finished the tournament with four points in seven games.

PHOTOS/Tweets: Canada beats Russia 5-4, wins World Junior gold medal

curtis lazar

Captain Curtis Lazar carries the World Junior trophy across the Air Canada Centre ice, after his Canadian team's gold medal-winning performance against Russia. (Photo: The Canadian Press)


Canadian defenceman Josh Morrissey flies his flag cape behind him, after winning World Junior gold in a thrilling 5-4 win over Russia. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

Sam Reinhart

Sam Reinhart led the way for Canada on Monday night, scoring a second-period goal and anchoring the team's first line in a 5-4 win over Russia. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

Russia goalie

Russian goalie Ilya Sorokin kneels after giving up a goal to Canada, during the 2015 World Junior gold medal final. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

Canada finishes the #WorldJuniors undefeated.

— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) January 6, 2015

Canada defeats Russia, captures gold at the #WorldJuniors:

— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) January 6, 2015

Unforgettable moment. Vine by @TheJordanMady

— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) January 6, 2015

Canada adds a 2nd goal, Nick Paul at 2:32 for a 2-0 lead over Russia in the gold medal game

— CBC Sports (@cbcsports) January 6, 2015

#WJC2015 UPDATE | Russia's Dmitri Yudin gets his 1st. 2-1 Canada. Stats: #CANvsRUS

— 2015 World Juniors (@HC_WJC) January 6, 2015

#HereWeGo for gold, Canada.

— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 6, 2015

#CAN leads #RUS 2-1 after first period of gold medal game at world junior championship

— The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) January 6, 2015

#CMJ2015 : Sam Reinhart fait 5-1 Canada !! #Pasdailesmalheureusement

— RDS (@RDSca) January 6, 2015