Members of Canada's world junior hockey group were welcomed by dozens of buddies, household and supporters at Pearson International Airport on Monday afternoon after winning gold a day previously in the Czech Republic.

With gold medals spending time their necks and smiles on their tired faces after a long day of travel, a number of players said the 4-3 victory over Russia had yet to actually sink in.

Akil Thomas scored the winning objective with 3:58 left in regulation on Sunday after captain Barrett Hayton, who was nursing a shoulder injury, had actually tied the video game earlier in the duration.

Thomas, who's from Toronto, had over 30 supporters on hand to greet him at the airport.

"It's quite overwhelming obviously," Thomas said. "A lot of family and friends are here. The last 24 hours have been quite insane. I'm simply glad."

The win offered Canada its 3rd world junior crown in the last 6 years.

It was the very first time Canada had actually won U20 gold in a European location considering that 2008. Canada was eliminated in the quarterfinals in 2015 when it hosted the tournament.

Joining Thomas and Hayton on the nine-hour flight from Vienna were colleagues Nico Daws, Ty Dellandrea, Jamie Drysdale, Aidan Dudas, Liam Foudy and Connor McMichael.

Other players were set up to get to different locations around the country over the coming days as they resume play with their respective junior teams.

"I simply had an excellent feeling about the video game," Thomas stated. "We were obviously playing well. I matured seeing those kind of games. Things take place quick in those kinds of video games. You can win in a blink of an eye.

"I simply got a chance and I made the most out of it. Luckily I scored."

Team Canada forward Akil Thomas speaks with press reporters in Toronto after arriving on Monday. Thomas scored the winning goal in the gold medal game against Russia at the world junior hockey championships. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press)

Supporters at the airport, lots of sporting and waving flags Canada hockey jerseys, blurt a roar as the players strolled through the arrival doors.

Hayton had the competition trophy in tow and happily raised it in the air to a cheer from the crowd. The group captain assisted assist his club to the podium after an irregular start to the competition.

"I believe there was some adversity early on," he said. "I think from the start we wished to improve every day. I believed we did that very well."

Specific honours

Alexis Lafreniere, a preferred to go initially general in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, was named competition MVP and top forward. Joel Hofer, who backstopped Canada to 5 straight triumphes, was named top goaltender.

Canada looked suspect at times in the opener of the initial round, a 6-4 comeback win over the United States. That video game was followed by a deflating 6-0 loss to Russia.

Canada built some momentum and shone when the games really mattered, outscoring challengers 15-4 in the playoff round. Sweden beat Finland for the bronze medal.

The 2021 occasion will be held in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta.

Canada has actually reached the podium 32 times at the world juniors given that 1977. Canada has won 18 gold, nine silver and 5 bronze.

It was the first time Canada had won U20 gold in a European place since 2008. Team Canada forward Akil Thomas speaks to press reporters in Toronto after arriving on Monday. Canada looked suspect at times in the opener of the preliminary round, a 6-4 return win over the United States. Canada built some momentum and shone when the games really mattered, outscoring opponents 15-4 in the playoff round. Canada has actually reached the podium 32 times at the world juniors considering that 1977.