It is hockey’s most exclusive and unique group – the IIHF Triple Gold Club – and following the Boston Bruins’ 4-0 victory in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, it has a new member.
Patrice Bergeron became the 25th player – and eighth Canadian – to join the club, scoring the game-winning goal in the first period of Game 7, his first goal of the series, and adding an insurance marker late in the second to help the Bruins to their sixth Stanley Cup.
Bergeron’s Stanley Cup joins his gold medals from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and 2004 IIHF World Championship and puts him in elite company – Rob Blake, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Joe Sakic, Brendan Shanahan, Eric Staal and Jonathan Toews are the only other Canadians with membership in the Triple Gold Club.
In order to earn his place in the club, the Sillery, Que., native needed to beat Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo, who was Bergeron’s teammate for the first two gold medal victories necessary for inclusion, and would have joined the club himself with a Canucks’ triumph.
Luongo won his first world championship gold in 2003, helping Canada end a six-year drought at the IIHF World Championship with a win over Sweden, and joined with an 18-year-old Bergeron one year later as Canada won back-to-back world titles for the first time since 1958-59 with another gold medal game victory over the Swedes.
Six years after their world championship win, the Quebec natives were part of one of Canadian hockey’s greatest moments, as they helped Canada claim Olympic gold on home ice in Vancouver at the 2010 Games. Luongo took over the starter’s role prior to the playoff round, backstopping Canada to its second Olympic gold in three tries, while Bergeron anchored the penalty kill and served as a defensive specialist.
Could another Canadian join in 2012? From the 2010 Olympic roster alone, 15 players have won at least two of the three required championships:
Needs Stanley Cup
Dany Heatley (Worlds 2003, 2004; Olympics 2010)
Jarome Iginla (Worlds 1997; Olympics 2002, 2010)
Roberto Luongo (Worlds 2005; Olympics 2010)
Patrick Marleau (Worlds 2003; Olympics 2010)
Brenden Morrow (Worlds 2004; Olympics 2010)
Rick Nash (Worlds 2007, Olympics 2010)
Shea Weber (Worlds 2007; Olympics 2010)
Needs IIHF World Championship
Dan Boyle (Stanley Cup 2004; Olympics 2010)
Martin Brodeur (Stanley Cup 1995, 2000, 2003; Olympics 2002, 2010)
Sidney Crosby (Stanley Cup 2009; Olympics 2010)
Marc-André Fleury (Stanley Cup 2009; Olympics 2010)
Ryan Getzlaf (Stanley Cup 2007; Olympics 2010)
Duncan Keith (Stanley Cup 2010; Olympics 2010)
Corey Perry (Stanley Cup 2007; Olympics 2010)
Brent Seabrook (Stanley Cup 2010; Olympics 2010)