As competition continues at the annual World Championship tournament held by the International Ice Hockey Federation, Nathan MacKinnon, the young Colorado Avalanche star, continues to reach new milestones. In Canada's third game of the preliminary round, MacKinnon contributed a goal in a 4-3 victory over the Czech Republic, his first ever goal at the IIHF World Championships. MacKinnon's precise age at the time was 18 years and 253 days, which happens to be 18 days younger than Sidney Crosby was when he scored his first World Championships goal in 2006. The only Canadian to ever score a goal on this stage at a younger age was Paul Kariya in 1993.
MacKinnon's goal came on a power play during the second period against the Czechs. Canada had a long time to work with the man-advantage after Jan Kovar received a high sticking major that knocked out one of Canadian defenseman Kevin Bieksa's teeth. MacKinnon was in the right spot to bury a rebound in a wide open net to make the score 3-1 for Canada. The score was 4-1 by the second intermission, and Canada went on to withstand a furious rally from the Czechs and win by a final score of 4-3.
Just as he did in the NHL this season, Nathan MacKinnon is also beginning to build his legend on the international stage. His goal against the Czech Republic will undoubtedly be the first of many MacKinnon tallies in international competition. At the risk of looking too far ahead, it is also probably safe to assume that in a little less than four years time, he will be representing Canada at the next Winter Olympics. If he stays on his current path, he will be one of the NHL's top superstars by then. But to come back to the present, he is a superstar in the making, and the Colorado Avalanche are profoundly fortunate to have him.Tags: Colorado, Colorado Avalanche, Hockey, IIHF World Championships, Nathan MacKinnon, NHL