Canada beats Finland to win hockey worlds gold for second straight year
Canada won back-to-back gold at the IIHF World Championship on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Finland.
Connor McDavid potted the game’s opening goal 11:24 into the first period, finding a deflected Matt Duchene shot in front of Finland goaltender Mikko Koskinen before sending the puck up and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
It was McDavid’s first goal of the tournament to go with eight assists for nine points.
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Duchene – who won Olympic gold with Canada at Sochi 2014 – added an empty netter late in the game to seal the 2016 edition of the worlds 2-0. Last year Canada beat Russia to win the world championship.
A tightly organized Canadian team in Moscow limited the Finns to just 16 shots (11 through the first two periods) on Sunday, helping goalie Cam Talbot earn the shutout, Canada’s fourth of the tournament.
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Sunday’s victory allowed team captain and double Olympic champion Corey Perry to join the ‘triple gold club’ as a winner of the Olympic Games, Stanley Cup and the IIHF World Championship.
“It’s pretty special, it was a process but we came through and everyone in that dressing room knew what we had to do today, we went out and executed,” Perry told TSN in a TV interview following the celebrations. He scored four goals and five assists in Canada’s 10 games.
“You look at (our) group, there’s a lot of skill, a lot of firepower, but at the same time there’s guys that want to win, and we knew what it would take to win. You look at recent success, it’s teams that play well defensively that do the job,” Perry said of the stifling structure employed by Canada that shut down Finland.
Canada had lost to the Finns 4-0 in the preliminary round, its only defeat of the competition.
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The win gave Canada its 26th men’s title at hockey worlds, putting the country one behind the combined haul of USSR and Russia.
Top NHL draft prospect Patrik Laine of Finland won the tournament’s most valuable player award. The 18-year-old had seven goals and 12 points in the tournament.
Vadim Shipachyov, who stars in the Kontinental Hockey League for Saint Petersburg, lead the tournament in scoring with six goals and 18 points.
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Duchene’s two-point night on Sunday gave him five goals and 10 points, though Derick Brassard edged him for the Canadian scoring lead with 11 points by virtue of one more assist.
Earlier on Sunday Russia beat United States 7-2 to win the bronze medal.
Next year’s men’s world championship tournament will be jointly hosted by France and Germany in their respective cities of Paris and Cologne. Italy and Slovenia have been promoted to play in the 2017 tournament at the expense of Hungary and Kazakhstan – both countries relegated to the lower division after finishing last in their groups this year.