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Photo Credit: TSN Sports

Canada Postgame: The Better Drake

Team Canada claimed a relatively easy semifinal victory today over the Czech Republic, advancing to the gold medal game to face the Swedes tomorrow.

Drake Batherson now leads the Canadian team in goals, tallying a total of seven goals in six games. Batherson has been a pleasant surprise on the Canadian team this year, sitting just two points behind Jordan Kyrou in Canada’s overall scoring.

The Canadians only lost a single game at this tournament – of course, that game being the marquee outdoor matchup between Canada and the USA.  The team has gone undefeated ever since, showing vast improvements in their tournament-opening style.

Given their increased goal scoring ability, their strong blueline, and great goaltending, it’s safe to say that the Canadians have a very good chance of claiming the gold medal tomorrow.

1st Period

The Czechs struck first in the game, opening up the first period with a goal from one of the Czech’s best forwards, Filip Zadina:

The Canadians would retaliate on a power play with five minutes remaining in the first.  Sam Steel’s wires a shot from the faceoff dot, putting the puck past Josef Korenar to tie the game for his team.

Korenar would stay in the game until midway through the second period, where he was pulled for allowing 6 goals in 23 shots.

Drake Batherson would score his first of the game off a nice redirect in front of the net to claim a lead for Canada heading into the first intermission:

2nd Period

The second period was filled with more Canadian goals, as one would probably expect.

Drake Batherson, or The Better Drake, would score his second powerplay goal of the game to put Canada up 3-1 midway through the second:

Skipping ahead a bit, Drake Batherson would score yet another goal for Canada to put the team up 6-1 in the second period, earning himself a hat trick:

Team Canada ran away with the lead in the second period, clearly dominating the Czechs.  The Canadians would continue to flex their muscles in the final period, though the goal scoring was deterred slightly.

3rd Period

Boris Katchouk would score Canada’s final goal of the game 5 minutes into the third period:

Zadina would strike again in the third, netting a goal on Carter Hart to cue the Czech comeback.  That never actually happened, and Team Canada carried a 7-2 lead to the end of the match.

Team Canada advances to face Team Sweden in the gold medal matchup of this year’s World Juniors while the Czechs will face the Americans to fight for the bronze medal. The gold medal game will take place tomorrow at 8 pm ET in Buffalo.

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