A Coquitlam NHL star was the hero for Canada in its desperate hour at the IIHF men's world hockey championships.
While you were commuting, or just starting the work day, Mathew Barzal — on his 25th birthday — scored on a backhand shot from the top of the right-side face-off circle to complete a three-goal, third-period quarter-final comeback against Sweden.
In overtime, while on a power-play, he passed the puck to Drake Batherson (Ottawa Senators), who then fired it to an empty cage to win the match 4-3 and send the Canadians to the semi-final in a historic rally.
Barzal's marker was his first at the 2022 tournament in Finland.
He's recorded four points, including three assists, in seven games in his sixth international appearance in a red and white jersey.
This is the former Coquitlam Express and Vancouver North East Chief's second stint with Canada at a men's world hockey championship.
Barzal's New York Islanders missed the NHL playoffs for the first time in three years — he made it to the eastern conference final in the two seasons prior.
Canada was down 3-0 to the Swedes at the start of the third period.
After Ryan Graves (New Jersey Devils) kickstarted the comeback attempt with a goal 1:21 into the frame, Canada was held off the scoresheet for the next 17 minutes.
Then came two goals in exactly 30 seconds: Pierre-Luc Dubois (Winnipeg Jets) got the team to within one with 1:53 to go in the contest, followed by Barzal's tally with 1:23 left.
William Nylander (Toronto Maple Leafs) was called for tripping in overtime and Canada was quick to capitalize on the man advantage, with Batherson sending a sharp-angle shot in behind Swedish goaltender Linus Ullmark from the bottom of the face-off circle.
Port Moody's Kent Johnson is also on the 2022 men's worlds roster.
Since the start of the tourney on May 13, the 19-year-old Columbus Blue Jacket has recorded five points in eight games — three goals and two assists.
Canada is set to play the Czech Republic in its semi-final match on Saturday (May 28) at 8:20 a.m. Pacific time as they look to repeat as world champions from 2021.
- with files from The Canadian Press