WJC Golden Memories | A talented trio

The 2005 triumph would mark the beginning of yet another “Drive for Five” for the Canadians. Over the next three years, three players with close ties to the QMJHL would help keep that memorable streak alive.

The 2006 event would be held in Vancouver and, though expected to be competitive, Team Canada faced many questions in light of a marked decline from the powerhouse roster of the previous year. In the end, the squad had to grind to earn the gold, in no small part due to a pair of defencemen who were both teammates and best friends in Val-d’Or; Kris Letang and Luc Bourdon.

Bourdon would average a point per game and earn a spot on the tournament All-Star team before making his way back to his home province and a President Cup triumph with the Moncton Wildcats. One of his teammates on that winning Cats club was 17-year-old winger Brad Marchand, who would go on to join Letang on the Foreurs the following season.

That December, all three players would suit up once again at the World Juniors, this time in Leksand, Sweden. Bourdon would score a pivotal tying goal in the Semi-Final against Team USA, Letang would be named an All-Star and Canada would claim its third straight gold.

The 2008 event would see Marchand return as an offensive leader, including a goal in the gold medal game, as the national squad made it four straight years on top of the World.

Sadly, Bourdon’s life would be tragically cut short in a motorcycle accident in May, 2008. Letang and Marchand would go on to be successful NHLers and rivals with the Penguins and Bruins, respectively, combining for over 1500 games, almost 1200 points and four Stanley Cups to this point.

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