Canada now has 11 men’s hockey medals in history at the World University Games including three gold, three silver and five bronze. It marked the third consecutive Universiade podium for the Canadians following a second-place finish in 2009 and a championship title in 2007, and their seventh medal in the last eight Games going back to 1997.
The red-and-white squad comprised of all-stars from the Ontario University Athletics conference, which took second place in Pool B in the preliminary round, finishes the tournament with four wins and two losses, including one in a shootout.
Later on Sunday, defending champion Russia faces Belarus for gold. In Saturday’s semifinals, Russia beat Canada 4-2, while Belarus defeated Kazakhstan 3-1.
“We’ve been together as a team for 22 days and these guys worked extremely hard from day one, so I’m really happy that they get to go home with a medal. They battled back after a heartbreaking loss yesterday. It’s a well-deserved bronze medal,” said Team Canada head coach Clarke Singer of the University of Western Ontario. “Kazakhstan has a good team. We got up by a couple of goals but they just hung around. Their goalie had an outstanding game.”
“It’s not exactly what we set out to do but I don’t think we can be disappointed. We had a great tournament,” said team captain Jordan Smith from Lakehead University. “We had a really hard game last night against the Russians. We know we gave it everything we had and we’re happy to be going home with a medal.”
“Overall it was an unbelievable experience. We had a great group of guys, and I can’t say enough about the coaching staff. It’s a great feeling right now,” added the defenceman from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., who carried the Canadian flag into the opening ceremonies.
McGill forward Maxime Langelier-Parent of Montreal, Western Ontario’s Yashar Farmanara of West Vancouver and Waterloo rearguard Kyle Sonnenburg of Waterloo, Ont., each scored their second goal of the tournament for Canada, while Western netminder Anthony Grieco of Brampton, Ont., made 30 saves to earn his third win in five starts.
Pavel Zhitkov was outstanding in front of Kazakhstan’s net turning aside 43 pucks as the Canadians outshot their rivals 46-31 including a 16-5 advantage in the first period and a 17-10 edge in the third.
Langelier-Parent opened the scoring with 82 seconds left in the first when he pushed a rebound past Zhitkov.
Eight minutes into the middle stanza, Farmanara also beat Zhitkov on a rebound to double Canada’s lead only 17 seconds after he got out of the penalty box.
Sonnenburg gave Canada some breathing room at 6:39 of the third thanks to a one-timer during a power play.
Mikhail Kachulin brought Kazakhstan back to within two less than three minutes later but the Canadians managed to hold on for the win.
The red-and-white penalty-killing unit excelled once again blanking Kazakhstan on nine opportunities. The Canadian PK was the best in the competition with only one goal allowed in 28 chances (.964).
Canada went one-for-five on the power play to finish the tournament in fourth place thanks to a 31.6 percent success rate (12-of-38).
Canada 3, Kazakhstan 1
1. CAN Maxime Langelier-Parent (2) (Keaton Turkiewicz), 18:38
Team (KAZ) delay of game, 3:13;
Maxime Langelier-Parent (CAN) boarding, 6:40;
Dmitriy Tikhonov (KAZ) kneeing, 11:20;
Evan Vossen (CAN) tripping, 15:03.
2. CAN Yashar Farmanara (2) (Kevin Baker, Tim Priano), 8:09
Yashar Farmanara (CAN) hooking, 5:52;
Jean-Michel Rizk (CAN) slashing, 16:12.
3. CAN Kyle Sonnenburg (2) (Matt Caria, Dominic Jalbert), 6:39 PP
4. KAZ Mikhail Kachulin (2) (Yevgeniy Zhdanov), 9:11
Brandon MacLean (CAN) holding, 0:27;
Eduard Mazula (KAZ) elbowing, 3:06;
Kevin Baker (CAN) high sticking (double minor), 3:14;
Pavel Zhilin (KAZ) cross checking, 5:37;
Alexandr Nurek (KAZ) hooking, 6:28;
Evan Vossen (CAN) tripping, 11:32;
Jean-Michel Rizk (CAN) tripping, 19:02;
Jean-Michel Rizk (CAN) misconduct, 19:02.
GOALS (by period)
CAN: 1-1-1: 3
KAZ: 0-0-1: 1
SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
CAN: 16-13-17: 46
KAZ: 5-16-10: 31
CAN – Anthony Grieco (W, 3-2, 31 shots, 30 saves, 1 GA, 60:00)
KAZ – Pavel Zhitkov (L, 46 shots, 43 saves, 3 GA, 59:02)
KAZ – Team (0 shot, 0 save, 0 GA, 0:58)
REFEREE: Martin Gasparik (SVK)
LINESMEN: Andreas Malmqvist (SWE), Masi Puolakka (FIN)
IIHF game summary: http://www.erzurum2011.gov.tr/pdfts/IHM400102/C74
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter
2011 Winter Universiade website: http://www.erzurum2011.gov.tr/english