CANADA TAKES SILVER AT MEN’S WORLDS
COLOGNE, Germany – The three-peat wasn’t meant to be.
Ryan O’Reilly (Varna, Ont./Buffalo, NHL) scored his sixth goal of the tournament and Calvin Pickard (Winnipeg, Man./Colorado, NHL) turned away 40 shots, but Canada couldn’t score in the shootout, falling 2-1 to Sweden and earning the silver medal at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
After back-to-back gold medals in 2015 and 2016, Canada was looking to make it three in a row for the first time since 1950-52. But Henrik Lundqvist stopped Nathan MacKinnon (Cole Harbour, N.S./Colorado, NHL), Brayden Point (Calgary, Alta./Tampa Bay, NHL), O’Reilly and Mitch Marner (Thornhill, Ont./Toronto, NHL) in the shootout, while Sweden got goals from Nicklas Backstrom and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Backstrom beat Pickard low stick side, and Ekman-Larsson’s shot went off the blocker and in.
It’s the 14th silver medal Canada has won at the men’s worlds, and 49th medal overall.
A quick, evenly played opening period came to a goal-less end, and it looked like the same would be said of the second.
Canada had drawn its first power play 50 seconds into that middle period. The team registered five shots on net – plus hit one post – and although it couldn’t solve Lundqvist, it was propelled by that early strong play and dominated possession the rest of the period.
But Sweden broke the deadlock shorthanded with only 21 seconds left in the period. After a series of miscues by Canada prevented the team from moving the puck out of its zone, Victor Hedman flipped a backhand toward the net that bounced in five-hole on Pickard.
Canada enjoyed back-to-back power plays to start the period, and finally solved the tournament’s best penalty kill on its second chance of the period. Travis Konecny (Clachan, Ont./Philadelphia, NHL) drew a questionable high-sticking call, and one minute later O’Reilly scored on a rebound off a Marner shot.
Canada scored at least one power play goal in all 10 of its games.
Both teams enjoyed power play opportunities as time wound down in regulation, but neither could prevent the need for an extra 20-minute period.
Canada had two great chances to end it late in overtime when Alex Killorn (Beaconsfield, Que./Tampa Bay, NHL) just missed an open net and MacKinnon batted the puck just inches wide.