Canada men's national junior ice hockey team
|General Manager||Scott Salmond|
|Head coach||Steve Spott|
|Assistants|| Mario Duhamel
|Top scorer||Jordan Eberle (14)|
|Most points||Eric Lindros (31)|
| Canada 5 – 4 United States
(Leningrad, Soviet Union; December 27, 1973)
| Canada 18 – 2 West Germany
(Kitchener, Canada; December 27, 1985)
Canada 16 – 0 Latvia
(Saskatoon, Canada; December 26, 2009)
| Sweden 17 – 1 Canada
(Tampere, Finland; December 26, 1975)
|IIHF World U20 Championship|
|Appearances||39 (first in 1974)|
|Best result||Gold: 15 – (1982, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)|
|International record (W–L–T)|
|World Junior Championships|
|Bronze||1974 Soviet Union||Canada|
|Bronze||1983 Soviet Union||Canada|
|Gold||1988 Soviet Union||Canada|
|Gold||1994 Czech Republic||Canada|
|Silver||2002 Czech Republic||Canada|
|Gold||2008 Czech Republic||Canada|
The Canadian men's national under 20 ice hockey team is the national under-20 ice hockey team in Canada. The team represents Canada at the International Ice Hockey Federation's World Junior Hockey Championship, held annually every December and January. The team also faced their Russian counterparts at the 2007 Super Series, an eight game series commemorating the 35th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series.
There are a total of 357,962 junior hockey players in Canada. The head coach for the 2012 tournament was Don Hay. His assistants are André Tourigny (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL)), Ryan Huska (Kelowna Rockets (WHL)), and George Burnett (Belleville Bulls (OHL)).
The national junior team is extremely popular in Canada, even more so than the men's senior team which plays at the World Championships. World Junior events in Canada are 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 is one of the two most successful in the world along with that of the former Soviet Union and currently Russia. 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 national junior team. Since that time, Canada has won 15 of 30 World Junior championships – including five in a row on two occasions, 1993–97 and 2005–09 – and medalled in all but six tournaments.
Early tournaments (1974–1981) 
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) created an invitation-only junior tournament for the top ice hockey nations in the world to be held in late December 1973 and early January 1974 in Leningrad, Soviet Union. It featured six teams: the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Finland, the United States and Canada. The Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) hoped to send the defending Memorial Cup champion Toronto Marlboros to represent Canada, but after they declined, the Peterborough Petes, runner up to Toronto in the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) standings was sent. The Petes finished third, despite being the only club team in the tournament
A second tournament was held in 1975, primarily in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The CAHA sent an all-star team made up of players representing the Western Canada Hockey League WCHL as Canada's representative. The team finished in second place with a 4–1 record, their lone loss at the hands of the champion Soviet Union. As the OHA and WCHL had each sent a representative already, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) sent Canada's entry in the form of the Sherbrooke Beavers for the 1976 tournament. The team finished second despite scoring only 12 goals and giving up 27 in four games
The growing popularity of international competition begun by the 1972 Summit Series and continued with the Canada Cup led the IIHF to formalize the tournament in 1977 as the IIHF World U20 Championship (colloquially the World Junior Hockey Championship). The defending Memorial Cup champion St. Catharines Fincups of the OHA represented Canada at this first official tournament, winning the silver medal, while Dale McCourt was named the tournament's best forward. The 1978 tournament was held in Montreal. It was the first major international tournament for Wayne Gretzky, a 16-year-old phenom whom the Montreal crowd cheered wildly. Though he led the tournament in scoring with 17 points, 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 CAHA nearly chose not to send a team in 1980 due to travel costs, but donations from the three major junior leagues ensured Canada's participation. The Peterborough Petes formed the primary core of the team, supplemented by players from other OHA squads. The result, however, was another fifth place finish. The 1981 tournament was even worse, as the Cornwall Royals, with some additions from other QMJHL teams, finished in seventh place out of eight teams.
Program of Excellence 
The CAHA had long hoped to send a true national team to the tournament, but were limited by costs. To assemble such a team in 1981 would have cost four times the amount it spent to send the Cornwall Royals. The CAHA lacked the resources for such a program and preferred not to send a team at all if it couldn't send its best. However, it was in a dispute at the time with Hockey Canada and feared that if it did not send a team, the IIHF would turn to the rival governing body instead. Though the CAHA typically sent the defending Memorial Cup champion, those teams were typically weakened by the loss of graduating players and were often only a shadow of the team which won their championships. Disappointed by frequent complaints from European teams that the Canadian juniors were just "slugs" who couldn't play the game at an elite level, CAHA president Murray Costello finally set out to build a true national team program.
Known as the "Program of Excellence", Costello and the CAHA proposed a multifaceted approach that would see Canada send its top eligible juniors from across the nation. It included the creation of U-17 and U-18 programs to develop younger players and a summer training camp to evaluate potential players for the junior team. The three major-junior leagues were initially reluctant to support the proposal, as it would have required them to surrender their top players for a longer period for the tournament, as well as their younger players for regional development tournaments. The CAHA ultimately gained the support of each league, but not before having to also convince them to allow the organization to also invite eligible players from outside major junior hockey.
The team sent to the 1982 Tournament in Rochester, Minnesota was the first true national junior team sent. It was represented by ten players from the WHL, four from the OHL, three from the QMJHL, two playing United States college and one playing professionally in the Finnish league. The team lacked star players, but relied on a balanced offence and strong defence to post a 6–0–1 record in the round robin tournament. Canada defeated the Soviet Union 7–0 in the second-to-last game, the worst defeat the Soviets suffered in the tournament's history. The game was played at the Winnipeg Arena before a rabid crowd, which amazed the players. The Canadians entered the final game, against Czechoslovakia, guaranteed a silver medal, and needed only a tie to win gold. Played at a half-full arena in Rochester, the Czechs entered the third period leading 2–1, and would have had a larger lead if not for goaltender Mike Moffat. Two third-period goals gave Canada the lead before the Czechs tied it. They held on despite a frenzied attack in the final minutes to end with a 3–3 tie, and win Canada's first gold medal in tournament history.
The arena either did not have a copy of the Canadian anthem, or had technical difficulty with it, so was unable to play follow IIHF tradition of playing the winning team's anthem following the game. The players themselves chose to sing the anthem, badly off-key, an image that has since become an iconic moment in the junior program's history. The gold medal marked the first international amateur championship for Canada in 20 years, and established the value of the Program of Excellence.
Rivalry with the Soviet Union: 1983–1990 
Attempting to repeat as champions in 1983, Canada endured numerous incidents and mind games perpetrated by the host Soviet Union. The Soviets initially refused to grant a sufficient number of visas for the Canadian delegation, then when the team landed in Leningrad, had their clothing and equipment seized immediately by government officials. It was returned three hours later, but only after the team threatened to withdraw from the tournament. Canada's first three games, all wins, were played in a small, empty arena. The fourth game was against the hosts, in a larger, packed rink that the team was denied the ability to practice in beforehand. The players struggled to adapt to the new playing conditions, losing 7-3, and even surrendered a goal when they mistook a whistle from somewhere in the crowd for the referees whistle and stopped playing. The Canadians finished with the bronze medal. The game against the Soviets was a much closer affair in the following year, ending in a 3–3 tie. However, Canada needed a win in the game to retain a chance for gold. Left with only a chance at bronze, the disheartened Canadians lost to Czechoslovakia in the final game of the tournament and finished in fourth place.
Canada and Czechoslovakia entered their contest on the final day of the 1985 tournament in Sweden with identical 5–0–1 records. Playing for the gold medal, the game was dominated by the goaltenders: Craig Billington and Dominik Hašek. It ended in a 2–2 draw and Canada claimed gold in the round-robin tournament as a result of a better goal differential. It was the nation's first World Championship won on European soil in 24 years. With 5–0 records, Canada and the Soviet Union again faced off for the gold medal in their match-up at the 1986 in Hamilton. The Soviets emerged the victors, 4–1, and won the gold, while Canada finished as silver medalists.
Believing that the Canada-Soviet match-up would again determine who won gold, the Czechoslovak hosts scheduled the two teams to be the final game of the 1987 tournament. It did not turn out that way, as the Soviets struggled and were eliminated from contention. Canada, however, could win silver with a victory, and gold with a victory of more than four goals. Norwegian referee Hans Rønning, assigned based on his neutrality despite his inexperience officiating at the international level, quickly lost control as both teams frequently hacked and slashed each other. Midway through the second period, with Canada leading 4–2, a line brawl broke out that ultimately involved nearly every player for both teams after the Soviets left their bench, closely followed by the Canadians. The melee lasted 20 minutes, ending only when the players were too exhausted to continue fighting. The brawl, which became known as the Punch-up in Piestany, resulted in the disqualification of both nations and Canada a medal.
Players who were on the 1987 team entered the 1988 tournament in Moscow seeking redemption. They won the gold medal, finishing the tournament at 6–0–1. The 3–2 victory over the Soviet Union was the difference maker, relegating the tournament hosts to the silver medal.
2013 roster 
Roster for the 2013 World Junior Championships:
- Mark McNeill replaced Charles Hudon due to injury before the tournament
- Boone Jenner was suspended for first three matches because of a late hit on pre-championships match.
World Junior Championship record 
The 1974, 1975 and 1976 tournaments were unofficial. The 1974 team was represented by the Peterborough Petes. Canada was ejected from the tournament in 1987 for a bench clearing brawl with the Soviet Union. In 1996, a playoff was added to the tournament (prior to this, it was just a round robin tournament.) Playoff games are included in record. Since 2007, the IIHF has awarded 3 points for a win, 2 points for an overtime win and 1 point for an overtime loss.
† Includes one win in extra time (in the preliminary round)
‡ Includes one loss in extra time (in the preliminary round)
* Includes one win in extra time (in the playoff round)
+ Includes one loss in extra time (in the playoff round)
Super Series 
In 2007, the Canadian junior team played the Russian junior team in an 8-game Super Series commemorating the 35th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series. For the 40th anniversary, the two teams competed in a four-game series in August 2012. The two teams split the series, which was decided on an overtime goal by Ryan Strome after Game 4.
Awards and honours 
Canadian players have earned numerous honours throughout the history of the World Junior Championship.
Directorate Awards 
All-Star Teams 
- Podnieks 1998, p. 10
- Podnieks 1998, pp. 11–12
- Podnieks 1998, pp. 14–15
- Podnieks 1998, pp. 17–19
- Podnieks 1998, p. 7
- Podnieks 1998, p. 20
- 1977 – 1981, The Sports Network, retrieved 2012-01-09
- Podnieks 1998, pp. 39–40
- Podnieks 1998, pp. 51–52
- Podnieks 1998, pp. 63–64
- Podnieks 1998, p. 76
- Podnieks 1998, p. 78
- Joyce 2011, p. 1
- Hornby, Lance (2005-11-08), "Costello rebuilt national pride", Toronto Sun, retrieved 2012-01-09
- Joyce 2011, p. 3
- Podnieks 1998, p. 92
- Podnieks 1998, p. 103
- 1982 - Minnesota, USA, The Sports Network, retrieved 2012-01-09
- Joyce 2011, p. 10
- Joyce 2011, p. 11
- "Canadian juniors win 'miracle' gold", Montreal Gazette, 1982-01-04: 28, retrieved 2012-01-09
- Podnieks 1998, p. 107
- Podnieks 1998, pp. 109–110
- Joyce 2011, pp. 15–17
- Joyce 2011, p. 20
- Joyce 2011, pp. 22–25
- Podnieks 1998, pp. 152–153
- Joyce 2006, p. 116
- Burns, John F. (1987-01-12), "Diplomacy takes hard check", New York Times, retrieved 2012-01-11
- Joyce 2011, pp. 41–42
- Joyce 2011, p. 50
- http://www.tsn.ca/world_jrs/feature/?fid=987, The Sports Network, retrieved 2012-01-11
- Podnieks 2011, p. 35
- Podnieks 2011, p. 34
- Podnieks 2011, pp. 37–38
- Gibson, Kevin (2003), The Official Book of Team Canada from Eh to Zed: The World Junior Championships, Trafford, ISBN 1-4120-0162-5
- Joyce, Gare (2006), When the Lights Went Out, Random House, ISBN 978-0-385-66275-8
- Joyce, Gare (2011), Thirty Years of the Game at its Best, Toronto: Viking Canada, ISBN 978-0-670-06594-3
- Podnieks, Andrew (1998), Red, White, and Gold: Canada at the World Junior Championships 1974–1999, ECW Press, ISBN 1-55022-382-8
- Podnieks, Andrew, ed. (2011), IIHF Guide & Record Book 2012, International Ice Hockey Federation, ISBN 978-0-7710-9598-6