CANADA BLANKS SWEDEN, GOLDEN AGAIN AT OLYMPICS
SOCHI, Russia – Carey Price (Anahim Lake, B.C./Montreal, NHL) stopped all 24 shots he faced for his second consecutive shutout, leading Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team to a 3-0 win over Sweden in Sunday morning’s Olympic gold medal game.
The win gives Canada its second consecutive Olympic gold, the first time it has stood atop the podium at back-to-back Games since 1948 and 1952.
The Canadians are also the first to successfully defend their gold medal since the Soviet Union in 1988.
Jonathan Toews (Winnipeg, Man./Chicago, NHL), Sidney Crosby (Cole Harbour, N.S./Pittsburgh, NHL) and Chris Kunitz (Regina, Sask./Pittsburgh, NHL) all scored their first goals of the tournament to provide the offence as Canada gained a measure of revenge for its gold medal game shootout loss to the Swedes in 1994.
But Price was the story, posting his second straight shutout in the medal round; he blanked the U.S. 1-0 in Friday’s semifinals. He finished with a tournament-leading 0.59 goals-against average and .972 save percentage, and was a deserving recipient of the Top Goaltender award from the tournament directorate.
Both teams came close to opening the scoring early, hitting a post apiece, but it was Toews who found the back of the net first, redirecting a Jeff Carter (London, Ont./Los Angeles, NHL) pass through Henrik Lundqvist at 12:55 of the opening frame.
It was the second straight Olympic gold medal game that Toews had opened the scoring; he broke the ice at 12:50 of the first period against the United States in 2010.
A pair of turnovers led to Canada’s second and third goals. Crosby grabbed a loose puck at the Canadian blue-line before outracing the Swedish defence and tucking a backhand around Lundqvist late in the second period, and Kunitz put the final nail in the coffin midway through the third, wiring a wrist shot just under the crossbar.
The Canadians went into full-on shutdown mode in the third period, allowing just four shots on goal in the final 20 minutes. Overall, Canada held a 36-24 advantage in shots.
Canada set a modern Olympic record for fewest goals allowed in an Olympic men’s hockey tournament; it gave up just three in six games. Price and Roberto Luongo (Montreal, Que./Vancouver, NHL) combined for three shutouts; Luongo blanked Austria in his lone start.
Drew Doughty (London, Ont./Los Angeles, NHL) was the lone Canadian to earn a spot on the media all-star team; he finished as Canada’s leading scorer, with four goals and two assists in six games.