Seven-year glitch

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

HELSINKI, FINLAND

8TH PLACE

Talk about falling with a thud.

Despite the likes of Alex Tanguay and Vincent Lecavalier, this team couldn't score -- nine goals in four round-robin games -- and was plagued by off-ice problems.

Posting a 2-2 record wasn't bad enough, this team followed by losing 3-0 to the U.S. and then placed eighth, thanks to a 6-3 loss to Kazakhstan.

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1999

WINNIPEG

SILVER MEDAL

A return to respectability. Wins over Finland and the Czechs, a scoreless tie with Slovakia and a loss to the U.S. made it a tough climb to the final. After dispatching Kazakhstan by a 12-2 count, Canada handily beat a Sweden squad that featured the Sedin twins. Despite the goaltending heroics of Roberto Luongo, the Canadians fell 3-2 in OT to Russia.

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2000

SKELLEFTEA, SWEDEN

BRONZE MEDAL

There was only one loss but it came at the wrong time. The Canadian lineup, which included Calgarian Dany Heatley and Hitmen Chris Nielsen, Matt Kinch and Matt Pettinger -- not to forget Brad Richards -- went 2-0-2 in the round-robin and beat Switzerland to reach the semifinal, where they lost 3-2 to Russia. Canada won bronze by beating the U.S. 4-3 in a shootout.

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2001

MOSCOW, RUSSIA

BRONZE MEDAL

The Czech Republic won back-to-back golds, while Canada claimed a second straight bronze. Again, one bad game made all the difference. Sub-par goaltending from Maxime Ouellet in the semifinal resulted in a 5-2 loss to Finland. Again, though, the Canadians regrouped to claim a medal by beating Sweden in the consolation game.

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2002

PARBUDICE/HRADEC KRALOV,

CZECH REPUBLIC

SILVER MEDAL

Canada beat Russia 5-2 in the round-robin but the tables were turned in the gold-medal game. After soundly thumping Sweden and Switzerland to reach the final, Canada twice blew two-goal leads and fell 5-4 to its biggest rivals. Canadian netminder Pascal Leclaire was steady throughout the tournament but faltered in a final.

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2003

HALIFAX

SILVER MEDAL

Nyet again. The showdown everyone expected came to be, a Russian team that stormed to the final against the host team looking to mark the fifth time in history a nation has won on home soil. Canada has a 2-1 lead midway through the game but Igor Grigorenko tied the game and Flames prospect Yuri Trubachev netted the winner on goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

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2004

HELSINKI, FINLAND

SILVER MEDAL

Canada dominated in the round-robin. They then beat the Czechs in the semifinal to set up a meeting with the top seed from the other pool -- the U.S. Leading 3-1 in the third period of the final, Canada's wheels fell off. The fatal blow came when goalie Marc-Andre Fleury tried to clear the puck, which hit defenceman Braydon Coburn and deflected back into the Canadian net.


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