Team Canada earns back-to-back gold medals at worlds for first time in 12 years
MOSCOW, Russia – Connor McDavid’s first goal of the 2016 IIHF World Championship came in the first period of the gold-medal game, and it was all Canada needed to earn its second consecutive gold medal at worlds – the first time the red-and-white has gone back-to-back since 2003 and 2004.
Matt Duchene (Haliburton, Ont./Colorado, NHL), who assisted on the McDavid (Newmarket, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) goal and was part of last year’s gold-medal team, added an empty-netter with just over one second left in the third to dash Finland’s hopes of becoming the first nation to win all three men’s IIHF hockey championships in one season. The final score read Canada 2, Finland 0.
“It’s a different team; a lot more experience last year, a lot of youth on the team this year, so a bit different, but at the same time, we got hot at the right time in the tournament [thanks to] a great coaching staff, great preparation, and great goaltending,” said Taylor Hall (Kingston, Ont./Edmonton, NHL), one of only three players on the team that won gold at last year’s worlds.
Cam Talbot (Caledonia, Ont./Edmonton, NHL) stopped all of Finland’s 16 shots to earn the shutout – his fourth at this year’s worlds.
“You learn a lot about an opponent when you play them a second time,” said team captain Corey Perry (Peterborough, Ont./Anaheim, NHL) about the difference in how Canada approached the gold-medal game against Finland following its 4-0 loss to them in preliminary-round action. Perry becomes the 27th person, and 10th Canadian, to join the IIHF Triple Gold Club, having won gold at two Olympic Games and one IIHF World Championship, as well as having won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007. “We executed our game-plan perfectly. Everybody in that dressing room wanted to win, and everybody buckled down and played unselfishly, and it really showed today.”
Hockey fans have one more day to bid on their favourite Team Canada players’ game-worn jerseys from the 2016 IIHF World Championship as part of an online auction benefitting the Hockey Canada Foundation. The auction closes at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, May 23.
Historically, Hockey Canada has celebrated all teams that win gold at an IIHF world championship or at an Olympic Games during the annual Hockey Canada Foundation Celebrity Classic gala and golf event in June. This year’s Celebrity Classic will be held on June 20 and 21 in Halifax, and will also celebrate the 2016 Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada: David Branch, Geraldine Heaney, Mario Lemieux, and Bob Nicholson, who was on-hand to present the gold medals in Moscow as vice-president of the IIHF Council.
Since 1931, Canada has won the world championship 20 times – not counting the years when Olympic Winter Games gold-medallists were also considered world champions. The country has also collected 11 silver medals and six bronze in that timespan.