Canada men’s national junior ice hockey team
The Canadian men’s national under-20 ice hockey team is the team representing Canada internationally. The team’s primary participation in this age group comes at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Junior Championship. Canada has won 18 of 40 World Junior championships – including five in a row on two occasions, 1993–1997 and 2005–2009.
About Canada men’s national junior ice hockey team in brief
The Canadian men’s national under-20 ice hockey team is the team representing Canada internationally. The team’s primary participation in this age group comes at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Junior Championship. Canada has won 18 of 40 World Junior championships – including five in a row on two occasions, 1993–1997 and 2005–2009. The national junior team is extremely popular in Canada, with World Junior events in Canada being often sold out, television ratings are extremely high, and even events in Europe are well attended by a contingent of Canadian fans. The Canadian junior team has medalled in 33 of 45 events held since 1977, winning a record 18 gold medals. Its success can be traced back to the formation of the Program of Excellence in 1982 by the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, which created the first true nationalJunior team. The CAHA had long hoped to send a true national team to the tournament, but were limited by costs. Known as the ‘Program of Excellence’, the program was set out to build out a multifaceted approach that would see Canada send its top juniors across the nation. The program is still in existence today and is run by the CAHA’s president, Murray Costello, who is also the president of the Ontario Hockey Association and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. It is the only program of its kind in the world, and was created in response to complaints from European teams that the Canadian juniors were just’slugs’ who couldn’t play the game at an elite level.
Canada’s current team is made up of players from the OHA, WCHL, QMJHL, and the Canadian Junior Hockey Association (CJHA) The team has won a total of 18 medals at the World Junior Championships, more than any other team in the history of the event. The most recent gold medal came in the 2007 Super Series against their Russian counterparts, an eight-game exhibition series commemorating the 35th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series. The tournament was first held in Leningrad, Soviet Union, in December 1973 and early January 1974. It was the first major international tournament for Wayne Gretzky, a 16-year-old phenom whom the Montreal crowd cheered wildly. Canada managed only a bronze medal after losing the final round-robin game to Sweden, 6–5, in which they needed only a tie for silver. The following three years yielded poor results. The 1979 team was represented primarily by the WHL’s New Westminster Bruins and finished in fifth place. The 1981 tournament was even worse, as the Cornwall Royals finished in seventh place out of eight teams. The team finished second despite scoring only 12 goals and giving up 27 in four games. The 1976 tournament was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Canada’s entry in the form of the Sherbrooke Beavers won the silver medal, while Dale McCourt was the tournament’s best forward.