The World Junior Hockey Championships ended Sunday without a medal for Nic Petan and his Team Canada teammates.
Petan, a North Delta resident whose family now resides on the Peninsula, was a key member of the national under-20 team that was aiming for the podium in Malmo, Sweden.
Despite a one-game hiccup against the Czech Republic in pool play – which Canada lost 5-4 in a shootout – the Canadian squad had a strong showing in their division, knocking off Slovakia and the U.S. along the way.
In quarterfinals, Canada defeated Switzerland 4-1, but they were eliminated from gold-medal contention the following day, losing 5-1 to the eventual champions from Finland. On Sunday, Canada lost 2-1 to Russia in the bronze-medal game.
The semifinal ouster was not a banner game for Petan nor his teammates, as they struggled on offence, and also with penalties. Petan himself sat for 10 minutes at the end of the second period and early in the third after he was issued a 10-minute misconduct for abuse of officials, after he appeared to say something to a referee after he was stopped on a scoring chance by Finnish netminder Juuse Saros.
“Personally I thought it was a terrible call,” Petan told the media after the game. “I didn’t say anything out of line. That’s just the way it goes here, I guess.”
Petan was one of Canada top forwards throughout the tournament. His best game of the event – which began Boxing Day – came in Canada’s 5-3 win over Slovakia on Dec. 30.
In the game, the Portland Winterhawks sniper, a draft pick of the Winnipeg Jets, scored twice – including the winning goal – and added an assist.
The loss to Russia in the bronze-medal game makes it two years in a row that Canada – which once dominated the tournament – has failed to win a medal, and it’s been five years since they won gold.