Prague, Czech Republic – Team Canada captured the gold medal at the 2004 IIHF Men’s World Hockey Championship after a 5-3 win over Sweden on Sunday in Prague, Czech Republic. With the win, Canada records back-to-back titles for the first time since 1958-59.
Canada found themselves down 2-0 midway through the first period after Jonas Hoglund and Daniel Alfredsson scored for Sweden. Edmonton Oilers captain Ryan Smyth (Banff, AB) cut the deficit in half before the end of the first, converting a Brendan Morrison (Pitt Meadows, BC) pass into an open Swedish net.
Andreas Salomonsson restored Sweden’s two-goal lead early in the second, putting a one-timer past Canadian goaltender Roberto Luongo (Montreal, QC), making the score 3-1. Dany Heatley (Freiburg, Germany) pulled Canada within one at the 14:44 mark, after his shot eluded Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Less than a minute later, Swedish forward Michael Nylander swatted a puck into his own net, tying the game at three. Rob Niedermayer (Cranbrook, BC) was given credit for the goal.
In the third, Jay Bouwmeester’s (Edmonton, AB) second goal of the tournament gave Canada their first lead of the game just 20 seconds in. Matt Cooke (Belleville, ON), off a great pass from Niedermayer, would add an insurance goal midway through the period, securing the victory for Canada.
Heatley’s tournament leading eight goals and 11 points earned him Most Valuable Player honours.
Canada has now captured 17 gold medals in the history of the World Championship, as a stand-alone event. Canada won gold in 1931, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1950, 1951, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1994, 1997, 20.
Canada has also captured gold at six Winter Olympics (1920, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1948, 1952) when the Olympics were also considered World Championships.
Canada’s past three world championship titles have come at the expense of Sweden. Last year, Anson Carter’s overtime goal gave Canada a 3-2 win, while in 1997, Canada defeated Sweden 2-1.
For more information on Team Canada, visitwww.hockeycanada.ca, or go to the event web site at www.ihwc.net.