Canada Dominates Gold Medal Game at IIHF World Championship. USA Wins Bronze.

Canada Completes Dominant Tournament With 6-1 Romp of Russia

Sunday evening in Prague team Canada won the gold medal game of the 2015 IIHF World Championship, beating Russia 6-1. This is the first World Championship gold medal for Canada since 2007.

After waltzing through the preliminary rounds of the tournament, Canada surrendered its first goal of the knockout stage in the final game after back-to-back shutouts of Belarus and host country Czech Republic.

Canada finished the tournament with a record 66 goals in 10 total games. Jason Spezza led the team with 14 points, and Canada had the three highest scoring players in the tournament.  While offence was the story, the Canadians were pretty good in their own end of the ice as well, only allowing 15 goals across those 10 games.

Sidney Crosby joined the Triple Gold Club, having already won the Stanley Cup (2009) and Olympic Gold Medal (2010, 2014). Mike Smith finished with a 1.50 GAA and the third best SV% in the tournament.

Russia Disappoints In Final Game. Coming into the tournament Russia was the favorite to win Group B, and second favorite to Canada to win gold. It took until the knockout stage for Russia to come together, but their weak defense was exploited in the final game. The second best offense in the preliminary round rarely generated any scoring chances, even with Alexander Ovechkin playing alongside Evgeni Malkin. The best player for Russia all tournament was KHL veteran, Sergei Mozyakin, who might be the best current player to never appear in the NHL. Sergei Bobrovsky was solid in net all tournament, but couldn’t do enough against a much better Canadian team. Russia was outshot 37-12 in the final game.

 

Young U.S. Team Wins Bronze 3-0 Over Czech Republic

Going into this year’s tournament, not much was expected of the USA, as they were one of the youngest teams and lacked a lot of the big names people have become accustomed to seeing wearing the red, white and blue.

The biggest surprise for the Americans was Winnipeg Jets AHL prospect Connor Hellebuyck who had the best save percentage of any goalie in the tournament and was runner up to Finland’s Pekka Rinne for all-star goaltender.

This is the second bronze in three years for the USA. A lot of credit needs to go to coach Todd Richards who managed to put together a couple dynamic lines, including the dominate trio of Jack Eichel, Trevor Lewis and Brock Nelson.

After starting the tournament with a few too many penalties, the highly touted Eichel came into his own, and showed why he’s so highly rated, recording seven points in 10 games.

Czech Republic Runs Out of Gas

Even with the home crowd behind them, the Czech Republic couldn’t match the pace that the Americans came out with the bronze medal game. In the third period the Czech’s managed to outplay the USA, but weren’t able to solve the American’s defense and goaltending.

The biggest bright spot of the night for the host nation was when Jaromir Jagr was announced as the tournament MVP. The sentimental favorite had 9 points in the tournament including three in the quarterfinal game against Finland. After the game Jagr announced his retirement from international competition. The second time he’s done so.

The 2015 IIHF World Championship was the highest attended championship in history. Congrats to the Czech Republic for putting on a great tournament.