Tuesday, September 14, 2010
On this date in 2004, Canada captured the World Cup of Hockey Championship with a 3-2 win over Finland in front of 19,370 fans at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Canada began the tournament in the North American pool with a 2-1 over the United States in Montreal while wearing their 1920 Winnipeg Falcons throwback jerseys.
They came back the very next night, again in Montreal, with a strong performance in a 5-1 throttling of Slovakia thanks to a pair of goals from Ryan Smyth.
Canada captured the group on September 4th when they beat Russia 3-1, this time in Toronto to finish pool play undefeated.
With the top North American seed drawing the fourth place North American finisher, Canada was once again matched up with the Slovaks on September 8th in Toronto with similar results to their first meeting, as Canada again scored five times in a shutout victory to advance to the semifinals.
Their opponent would be the Czech Republic, the number 3 European Pool seed, surprising 6-1 quarterfinal winners over Sweden. In perhaps the best game of the tournament, Canada scored twice in the second period after a scoreless first before the Czechs got on the board before the end of the period. Seven minutes into the third the Czechs evened the score at 2-2. Canada got the go ahead goal at 13:47 only to have the Czechs shock the still celebrating arena with an equalizer a mere six seconds later.
Vincent Lecavalier then won it for Canada with a goal at 3:45 into overtime to send Canada to the finals.
In the Final, the Canadians and the Finns traded goals in the first period before Canada went up by one with a goal three minutes into period number two. The Finns scored a late goal at 19:00 of the second to send the tournament into it's final 20 minutes all even.
It would only take 34 seconds for Canada's to score on assists from Joe Thornton and Adam Foote to return Canada to the lead for the third time in the game. The Canadians would make that goal stand as Martin Brodeur would hold off Finland with ten saves to secure the championship for Canada.
Lecavalier would lead Canada in scoring with 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points in 6 games to earn tournament MVP honors. Broduer was named the goaltender of the tournament's All-Star Team following his goals against average of 1.00 in five games and a .961 save percentage. Foote would join his fellow Canadians on the All-Star Team at defense.
Today's featured jersey is a 2004 Team Canada Mario Lemieux jersey. Canada debuted this jersey style at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics and it proved a very worthy look for an unprecedented era of Canadian dominance in international hockey, as both the Canadian men and women would win gold medals in 2002, the men would win the World Championships in 2003 and 2004, the women would capture the 2004 World Championship and the men's U-20 team would cruise to the World Junior Championship in dominant fashion in 2005 giving Canada the titles in all six major championships at the same time, all won in this style jersey.
Canada would later celebrate their lofty status by altering the outline of the maple leaf logo on the jersey's crest from silver to gold to remind everyone of their unprecedented dominance over the hockey world.
Today's video highlights are of Canada's victory over Finland in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey finals in Toronto.