Canada has defeated Finland 2-0 to win their second straight gold medal at the World Hockey Championships.
Connor McDavid scored the game winner in the first period, and Matt Duchene added an empty netter with one second left. Cam Talbot was spectacular, making 16 saves for his fourth shutout of the tournament.
Coming into the game with eight assists but without a goal in the tournament, McDavid picked a great time to get his first. He used his speed to drive wide right before cutting to the goal and putting the puck upstairs past Finnish goaltender Mikko Koskinen.
Canada captain Corey Perry is now the 27th member of the Triple Gold Club, having won a Stanley Cup and Olympic Gold to go along with the gold at this tournament.
“It’s pretty special,” said Perry. “It was a process but we came through. Everybody in that dressing room knew what we had to do today and we went out and executed.”
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Despite Canada’s offensive firepower in the tournament, it was their defensive effort that won them this game.
“We knew what it would take to win,” Perry continued. “You look at recent success, it’s the team’s that play well defensively that are going to do the job.”
Canada didn’t go undefeated like they did when they won gold last year, but this team looked as unified as any we’ve seen over the last decade or so.
“We spent so much time together it was easy to get that unity as a group,” said Brendan Gallagher. “Every day we came to the rink we got better and better and it paid off.”
For some players on this young Canada team, it was their first winning experience since turning pro.
“I haven’t won anything since Bantam hockey, so it’s not easy to win,” admitted Gallagher. “It’s definitely the best feeling I’ve had playing the game and something I’ll remember for a long time.”
The gold medal was Canada’s 26th ever at this tournament, bringing them one shy of the 27 titles won by the USSR/Russia for the most all-time.
Koskinen was great in goal for the Finns, keeping the game close with 31 saves. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Patrik Laine was awarded MVP of the tournament after putting up 12 points (7 G, 5 A) in 10 games. But even that wasn’t enough for Finland to dethrone Canada.
Finland has now lost in four medal games (two gold medal games, two bronze medal games) since their last gold medal at this tournament in 2011.
Canada is the first nation to win back-to-back gold medals at the tournament since Russia did it in 2008 and 2009. It’s the first time Canada has won in consecutive years since 2003 and 2004.