Bowen Byram a world champ
Cranbrook resident Bowen Byram’s hockey career has another high-water mark as he helped Canada capture its 18th gold medal in the World Junior Hockey Championships in the Czech Republic.
A key member of Canada’s stellar blueline, the 18-year-old Byram collected two assists in the tourney, won by Canada Jan. 5 in a nail-biting, comeback affair highlighted by team captain Barrett Hayton (Arizona Coyotes) fighting off a shoulder injury to rifle home a powerplay marker that evened the game at three apiece with 8:39 left in the game and then Akil Thomas’ (Niagara Ice Dogs/LA Kings) splendid effort to push Canada ahead for good with 3:58 left.
In the pantheon of Canada’s incredible international hockey record, this game ranks among the greatest, as the team had to battle against a flood of penalties, including a baffling non-call, that kept the country’s best under 20-years-of-age players off their game until the referees saw fit to start evening things out in the second half of the typically hot-blooded contest.
Byram, a member of the Vancouver Giants and Colorado Avalanche draft pick (fourth overall 2019), was one of six Western Hockey League stars on Canada’s roster, including clutch goalie Joel Hofer (Portland Winterhawks / Winnipeg, Man.), defencemen Calen Addison (Lethbridge Hurricanes / Brandon, Man.), Ty Smith (Spokane Chiefs / Lloydminster, Alta.) and forwards Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge Hurricanes / Whitehorse, Yukon) and Nolan Foote (Kelowna Rockets / Kelowna).
Lead image: Team Canada celebrates the nation’s third IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal in six years yesterday in Ostrava, CZE. Hockey Canada/Andrea Leigh Cardin/Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images