CANADA SHUTS OUT FINLAND FOR GOLD
MOSCOW, Russia – Connor McDavid (Newmarket, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) scored early and Matt Duchene (Haliburton, Ont./Colorado, NHL) scored late as Canada’s National Men’s Team shut out Finland 2-0 to defend its gold medal at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
The win gave Canada its 26th world title.
Cam Talbot (Caledonia, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) made 16 saves for his fourth shutout.
Midway through the first period, McDavid led the rush up the wing before passing off to Duchene. Duchene’s attempted shot deflected off of a backchecking Finn into the low slot, where McDavid roofed it. It was McDavid’s first goal of the tournament, to go with a team-high eight assists.
With about a minute to go in regulation, Finland pulled goaltender Mikko Koskinen for an extra attacker. And with only one second to go, Duchene iced it for Canada, scoring into the empty net.
Canada was the highest-scoring team during the tournament, but on this day it proved it could win another way: with suffocating defence.
Seven shots in the first was the most Finland registered in any period, with Canada consistently keeping its opponent to the outside, blocking shots and denying any forays the Finnish forwards tried to make through the offensive zone.
Finland’s best chance to get on the board came minutes after McDavid opened the scoring. Atte Ohtamaa sent a pass from the side board in front to Patrik Laine. Talbot stoned Laine on the doorstep to maintain Canada’s momentum.
Canada allowed only 11 goals in 10 games.
The team learned from its earlier 4-0 defeat to Finland in the preliminary round. Although Canada kept Finland’s power play off the board then, taking five penalties stalled its offensive momentum before it could get started. Today, Canada allowed Finland only two man-advantages, and easily killed both off.
The win allowed two players to set some personal history as well. Corey Perry becomes the 27th member – and 10th Canadian – to join the IIHF’s Triple Gold Club.
At age 19, McDavid became the youngest player to ever win gold medals at the men’s worlds, IIHF U18 World Championship and IIHF World Junior Championship.
Additionally, defenceman Michael Matheson was named Best Defenceman by the IIHF Directorate, as well as to the media all-star team.