In 1997, few goaltending prospects could match the pedigree of Chicoutimi’s Marc Denis, while Christian Dube was on the verge of a Memorial Cup win with Hull and a postseason callup to the New York Rangers.
At the same time, nobody had dominated the World Juniors in recent times quite like Team Canada entering that year’s event in Geneva, Switzerland. It was at this point where Denis, Dube and history converged.
No team had ever earned gold in five consecutive tournaments and while the Canadians were almost considered de facto favorites, it was obvious to most that the key to success at the ’97 event would require a total team effort, including a strong performance between the pipes.
While Dube would tie for the team scoring lead with seven points, Denis, then a top prospect in the Colorado Avalanche organization, rose to the top, blanking Team USA 2-0 with a 35-save effort in the gold medal game. Following the record-setting victory, Dube would earn a spot on the tournament All-Star Team while Denis was named Top Goaltender.