Millions of Canadians across the country woke up in the early morning hours to watch Canada defend its men’s Olympic gold medal title – and it was definitely worth it over more sleep.
Canada won its second consecutive Olympic tournament champion title following the gold won on home ice in Vancouver just four years ago. Canada won its first men’s Olympic gold title in 2002 following a 50-year drought, then again in 2010 on home ice and now 2014.
Today’s game began just after 4 a.m. PST (4 p.m. Sochi time) and was held at the near-capacity, 12,000-seat Bolshoy Ice Dome at Sochi Olympic Park.
Winnipeg’s 25-year old Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks) scored Canada’s first goal early in the first period. In the second period, 26-year old Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) – the golden boy from 2010 – scored the second goal on a breakaway. In the second half of the third period, 34-year old Chris Kunitz (Pittsburgh Penguins) secured Canada’s victory with the third goal.
Canada overpowered Sweden 3-0 by playing much of the game in the offensive zone, keeping the Swedes from getting a chance to score on the Canadian goal. On Saturday, Finland defeated the United States 5-0 to claim the bronze medal.
Four Vancouver Canucks players received medals in the Olympic tournament, including Canadians Roberto Luongo and Dan Hamhuis (gold) and Swedes Daniel Sedin and Alex Edler (silver).
The gold medal hockey match also marks the final medal event of the Sochi 2014 Olympics. The Closing Ceremonies of the 22nd Winter Games begin at 8 a.m. PST and will be held at the adjacent Fisht Olympic Stadium.