Kelowna Rockets defenceman Madison Bowey may have been a little late in joining his teammates in Sochi, Russia for the 2013 World Under-18 Hockey Championships.
But the Winnipeg native quickly became an important part of the Team Canada blueline and scored one of the biggest goals of his career in a 3-2 win over Te am USA as Canada claimed the gold medal at the World U-18 championships, wrestling the title from the USA, who had won the event four straight years.
Bowey scored midway through the second period in Sunday’s gold medal game, tying the score at 2-2 and switching the momentum in the game as Canada added the winning goal later in the second period.
And despite playing in Russia, the Canadians were a crowd favourite and were urged on by the Russian fans in the third period as the crowd of approximately 6,000 at the Bolshoy Ice Dome was began chanting “Canada, Canada, Canada.”
“I thought it was pretty cool to have that support,” Bowey told CBC sports after the Canadian teenagers held on to the one-goal lead and won the U-18 title.
Laurent Dauphin and Frederik Gauthier also scored for the Canadian side, who won the gold medal for the first time since 2008. It’s the third gold medal at the U-18 world championship. Overall, Canada has won five medals since first taking part in 2002: three gold (2003, 2008, 2013), one silver (2005) and one bronze (2012).
Bowey was added to the Team Canada roster when the Rockets were eliminated from the second round of the WHL playoffs. He flew to Russia on his own and joined the team for the first round robin game.
On a blog on Hockey Canada’s web site, Bowey wrote that the team had great chemistry.
“Everyone on the team is willing to buy in and play whatever role it takes to win the gold medal, which is very important in a short event like this,” he said. “We’re a very supportive team and everyone will have each other’s backs when the times are rough, so when it comes down to the big games I know everyone will be ready to go.”
Canada finished first in Group B in the preliminary round with a perfect 4-0 record, recording victories over Slovakia (4-1), Germany (3-1), Switzerland (10-1) and Sweden (6-0).
They beat the Cszech’s 6-0 in a quarter-final match-up before advancing to the gold medal game with a 3-1 win over Finland in the semi-final.
Canada’s roster was entirely made up of CHL players