QUEBEC CITY, QC – Canada’s National Men’s Team has won the silver medal at the 2008 IIHF World Championship, falling to Russia 5-4 in overtime in Sunday’s gold medal game at Le Colisée Pepsi.
The world title is Russia’s first since 1993, and denied Canada its second consecutive gold medal. Canada also saw its winning streak at the event snapped at 17 games, and the loss means the host country still has not won the gold medal since the Soviet Union won the 1986 world championship in Moscow.
After falling behind 1-0 less than two minutes into the first period, Brent Burns scored twice and Chris Kunitz added a goal as Canada took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission. After the Russians had cut the lead to one at 3-2, Dany Heatley scored his record-breaking 12th goal of the tournament to restore the two-goal lead.
Heatley’s 12 goals surpassed the modern-day Canadian record of 11 goals in one tournament, set by Eric Lindros at the 1993 IIHF World Championship. The goal also gave him 20 points, tying Steve Yzerman’s 1990 Canadian record.
Holding a two-goal lead entering the third period, the Canadians saw Russia fight back with a pair of goals in the final 11 minutes to force overtime, where Ilya Kovalchuk was the hero, scoring 2:42 into the extra frame with the Russians on the powerplay.
Heatley was rewarded for his record-breaking tournament with the Top Forward and MVP awards, courtesy of the IIHF Directorate. It is the second time Heatley has been named MVP at the IIHF World Championship, the first player ever to win the award twice. He also was named Top Forward and MVP following the 2004 tournament.
Burns was named Top Defenseman, while Russian netminder Evgeni Nabokov took home Top Goaltender honours.
Heatley also earned a place on the Media All-Star Team, where he was joined by teammates Mike Green and Rick Nash. Nabokov, Russia forward Alexander Ovechkin and Czech Republic defenseman Tomas Kaberle were also named to the six-member team. Heatley was also named to the all-star team following the 20 world championships.
The gold medal game was the conclusion of a successful 2008 IIHF World Championship, as the game was sold out and broadcast live on TSN/RDS to hockey fans across the nation. This marked the first time in the 100-year history of the IIHF that the world championship was held in Canada.
The 2008 IIHF World Championship was held in Quebec City and Halifax from May 2nd to 18th. It was the third-most successful IIHF World Championship in history according to attendance, as a total of 477,584 fans watched games at both Le Colisée Pepsi and the Halifax Metro Centre. The 2004 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic is the most successful, attracting 552,097 fans to the event.
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