Team Canada is on top of the junior hockey world for the 20th time as they are the 2023 World Junior Hockey champions.
In the gold medal game on Thursday night, they beat Czechia 3-2 in overtime off of a Dylan Guenther game-winning goal.
The Canadian team featured Kelowna Rockets captain Colton Dach, who unfortunately suffered an injury in the team’s New Year’s Eve game against Sweden and wasn’t able to finish the tournament. However, he remained with the team and was helped by a teammate to have his turn with the trophy as they made their way around the ice.
CAPTAIN DACH GETS HIS MEDAL— Kelowna Rockets (@Kelowna_Rockets) January 6, 2023
📹 TSN pic.twitter.com/vcIsoB5e64
Dach wasn’t the only Rocket who received hardware after the game. Kelowna forward Gabriel Szturc was on the other side playing for Czechia, who all received silver medals for their efforts.
We're SO incredibly proud of Gabriel Szturc for helping @narodnitym win their first medal at the #WorldJuniors since 2005!— Kelowna Rockets (@Kelowna_Rockets) January 6, 2023
Gabby finished tied for eighth in tournament scoring with eight points (5G, 3A), four penalty minutes and a +9 plus/minus rating through seven games. pic.twitter.com/JDoKjHA4Cw
The medal is Czechia’s first in the World Junior tournament since 2005.
Szturc will be back in Kelowna on Friday but there has been no word on when he’ll be back in the lineup. Dach, who’s a Chicago Blackhawks prospect, will be getting evaluated by the Chicago training staff before coming back to Kelowna.
Szturc coming back to the Rockets lineup will hopefully boost the team as they’ve lost six straight games.
The Rockets are back in action this weekend, playing a home-and-home series against the Kamloops Blazers. Friday night is at Prospera Place at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday is in Kamloops at the Sandman Centre. Canada’s Logan Stankoven and Caedan Bankier are expected to be back in Kamloops’ lineup on Saturday.
Going into the weekend, the Rockets are 8th in the WHL’s Western Conference with a record of 12-19-3-0.