There were peaks and valleys along the way, and at times, it looked like Canada’s attempt at a fifth straight gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship would fail.

However, the Canadians overcame the obstacles that confronted them, and in the end, the ridiculous star power at the top of the team, coupled with exceptional depth on the roster, catapulted them to the gold.

P.K. Subban opened up the scoring on the powerplay in the first period, beating Jacob Markström after a setup from Jordan Eberle.

Angelo Esposito’s goal made it 2-0 Canada, and Cody Hodgson potted another just seconds after the start of the middle period.

Hodsgon’s goal could have been a knockout punch, but Sweden settled down and kept the game somewhat interesting from that point on.

Joakim Andersson solved Dustin Tokarski with eleven minutes and change left in the contest. The Swedes seemed rejuvenated after that, and they put pressure on Tokarski and the Canadian defense.

Unfortunately for the Swedes, they would get no more goals.

Jordan Eberle and Cody Hodgson, two of Canada’s biggest heroes over the last few weeks, both put the puck into an empty net, boosting the score from 3-1 to 5-1.

With Canada’s victory, the tournament placings were made final:

1. Canada
2. Sweden
3. Russia
4. Slovakia
5. United States
6. Czech Republic

Canadian center John Tavares was named MVP.

Congratulations to Pat Quinn and Team Canada. They were a team of destiny if there ever was one, and they deserved to win this tournament. Along the way, they provided some thrilling moments.

For me, the excitement of this tournament provided refuge from the rather disgusting play of the Penguins lately, but there were so many other reasons to love these games.

The 2008-2009 IIHF World Junior Championship was one to remember.