It all comes down to the gold medal game.
After a whirlwind of a tournament for Team Canada, the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship is set to come to a close Thursday night as Canada takes on Czechia for first place.
And for those in Regina, it has been a special few weeks watching the Regina Pats superstar Connor Bedard have one of the best world junior tournaments Canada has ever seen.
As part of the celebration in the Queen City, the Regina Pats are hosting a free watch party at the Brandt Centre for the gold medal game.
“We want to send a message all the way to Halifax that Regina is behind our team, and we’re here to cheer on our Regina Pats that are playing for gold,” said Tim Read, the president and CEO of Regina Exhibition Association Limited.
“Obviously, we’re cheering a little bit more for Connor in this one.”
On top of free entry, there will also be $5.00 food and drinks all night and the first 100 fans will get a free silver Pats voucher.
Doors open at 5 p.m. while puck drop is 5:30 p.m. Seats are first come, first served.
“I think this is a great opportunity for us to celebrate just what incredible talent we have with the Regina Pats, and bring everybody into our hockey rink and make this feel like a championship game.”
The game won’t be easy, though, as the last time the two teams faced off, the Czechs beat Canada 5-2 on Boxing Day.
This is the first time the two teams have met in the gold medal game, but both teams are on very different trajectories.
The Czechs are looking to win their first world junior gold since 2001, while the Canadians are looking to go back to back for the first time since 2009 — a run that closed out five in a row.
Bedard, however, isn’t the only Regina Pats player looking for gold. Czechia’s Stanslav Svozil will also be looking for the win and going head to head with his teammate.
“I think both players are amped up to play this game,” said Regina Pats play-by-play announcer Dante Decaria. “The Regina Pats and I are super proud to see two of our players in the gold medal game.”
No matter the outcome of the game, a silver and a gold medal will be coming back to Regina.
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