COLOGNE, Germany – Nicklas Backstrom and Oliver Ekman-Larsson defeated Calvin Pickard in the shootout to help Sweden win the gold medal at the World Men’s Hockey Championship with a 2-1 victory over Canada, Sunday.
Victor Hedman scored short-handed late in the second period to give Sweden 1-0 lead. Henrik Lundqvist won the victory by making 42 saves for the Swedes.
Ryan O’Reilly tied the 1-1 powerplay mark at the beginning of the third engagement. Pickard blocked 40 shots in the defeat.
“We do not feel as if we have lost a hockey game tonight, we feel like we’re losing in the shootout,” said Canadian coach Jon Cooper. I told my players to keep their heads high. We were aware of the regulations from the beginning and they beat us.
“I think the two guards were outstanding. They were better than us and in the end they won the title of world champions. ”
This is the first time on four occasions that Sweden has won the final against Canada since the IIHF introduced the playoff system in 1992 and it was the country’s first gold medal in the tournament since 2013.
“It’s hard,” said Nathan MacKinnon. We were not able to score and it’s a shootout. It’s a strange way to finish a tournament, but if we won, we would not talk about it – we’d be excited. Obviously, we are disappointed. ”
The European team prevented Canada from winning the title for a third consecutive year, which would have been a first since the Czech Republic achieved the feat between 1999 and 2001.
After having competed in two different groups during the preliminary rounds, both teams needed a period of adjustment to test the field at the start of the match. No goals were scored in the first third and the Swedes dominated the Canadians 12-10 in penalties.
A period during which Canada was able to deal with two penalties against the ninth team in this category.
Hedman scored the Swedes on the scoreboard while Nicklas Backstrom was serving his second penalty of the game. Hedman’s jumping shot thwarted Canada’s goalkeeper with only 21 seconds remaining in the second period.
“I got a lucky rebound,” Hedman said. Joel (Lundqvist) and Krugs (Marcus Kruger) did a good job in front of the net and I do not think he saw the puck. The puck had eyes during that moment. ”
The Canadians used their dangerous numerical advantage to level the mark in third, after Elias Lindholm was awarded a 1:48 stick penalty. O’Reilly needed only 10 seconds to send Mitch Marner’s throw-back over Lundqvist’s right shoulder, allowing Canadians to match the game.
It was Lundqvist’s first goal in numerical superiority at the tournament.
The Canadians’ short-bow was put to the test at the end of the game. Canada had to cope without the services of Mike Matheson with only 3:18 left. The Swedes were also undisciplined with only 1:24 left.
Alex Killorn passed on the record to Matt Duchene, who almost thwarted the Swedish goalkeeper in extra time, but his shot was stopped by Lundqvist.
Earlier in the day, Russia won the bronze medal with a 5-3 victory over Finland.