Canada captured back-to-back gold medals at the World Championship with a 2-0 victory over Finland on Sunday. With the gold medal victory, Corey Perry became the 27th member of the triple gold club.
Canada has repeated as gold medalists at the World Championship with a 2-0 victory over Finland, and Canada becomes the first nation to repeat as tournament champions since the Russian team won consecutive golds in 2008 and 2009.
In a game that saw no shortage of scoring chances for either side, both Canadian goaltender Cam Talbot and Finnish netminder Mikko Koskinen were sharp for their respective sides, but it was Talbot who was able to shut the door the whole way through the gold medal game. Talbot stopped all 17 shots he faced in the contest, while Koskinen’s only mistake came when Connor McDavid was able to drive inside and pop one over the Finnish goaltender 11:24 into the first period.
The goal was McDavid’s first of the tournament, and it couldn’t have come at a bigger moment. Canada had been shutout by the Finns during the round robin as Koskinen stopped all 21 shots he faced, but the Canadian squad peppered him in Sunday’s title game. All told, Canada put 32 shots on Koskinen and he only allowed the single goal.
Defensively, the effort turned in by the Canadian team was phenomenal, too. The Finnish offense was one of the most potent in the tournament and they were slowed to nearly a halt by Canada’s tight defensive structure.
McDavid’s goal had some significance beyond being the game-winner, too. With Canada’s victory, he became the youngest player in hockey history to win gold at the IIHF U18 championship, World Junior Championship and the World Championship. What’s scary is he might not even be done there. As part of the U23 team at the World Cup, he will have a chance at adding another international accolade to his ever-growing trophy case. McDavid didn’t have the only major milestone in the victory, though.
By winning the World Cup, Corey Perry officially became the 27th player, and 10th Canadian, to enter the Triple Gold Club, which consists of a World Championship and Olympic gold as well as a Stanley Cup. He joins fellow Canadians Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Toews, Eric Staal, Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan, Joe Sakic and Rob Blake as members of the club.
Canadian defenseman Mike Matheson also received a nod for his play on the blueline. He was named the tournament’s top defender and selected as a member of the tournament all-star team.
With the loss, Finland took home its second silver in the past three World Championships, but miss out on their third gold medal in the club’s history. The Finns did capture two of the three end-of-tournament honors, however, as Koskinen was named the tournament’s top goaltender and Patrik Laine, the sensational scorer who is likely to go second overall at the upcoming draft, was named the tournament’s top forward and MVP.
Rounding out the podium was Russia, the host nation, who beat the Americans 7-2 earlier in the day to capture bronze. Russia’s medal makes three-straight tournaments in which they’ve captured a medal, although they’ve trended in the wrong direction picking up gold in 2014, silver in 2015 and finishing third on the podium at the 2016 tournament.