The final game was a perfect definition of Canada’s tournament. A slow start, having to play catchup and finding a way to win at the last possible minute.
But this time, it came at the most important time, as Canada was able to become the first team to start 0-3 at the World Championship and win gold after beating Finland 3-2 on Sunday evening in Riga.
This is the 26th time Canada has won gold at the World Championship and the first since taking back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016. Only Russia at 27 has more.
If there’s any time to score your first goal, doing so in the final game of the tournament is a solid choice. Mikael Ruohomaa scored just as the Finnish man advantage ended when he got the puck in front of the net and made a quick move around Darcy Kuemper on his attempt to sprawl out and knock it away to score the 1-0 goal.
Penalties were the story of the game, with Canada taking three in the first, including the one that led to Ruohomaa’s goal. Maxime Comtois would take advantage of Canada’s first power-play chance at 24:30 when Connor Brown got the puck on net, with Comtois knocking it off his body and the post. Just before it could cross the line, Comtois got his stick on it and pushed it over the goal line, tying the game up at one apiece.
For a moment, Canada thought it had the go-ahead goal. With about five minutes to go, Owen Power rushed the puck up the ice before making a pass en route to an Adam Henrique goal. Instead, the goal was reviewed and waved off because Power was offside just after making the pass, keeping the game tied at one apiece.
That moment proved to be critical. At 45:27, Petteri Lindbohm scored his first of the tournament after Jere Sallinen cruised in front of the net quick enough for Kuemper to lose his sight of the puck before scoring, giving Finland the lead back.
The teams traded penalties, including a 10-minute misconduct for Canada’s Sean Walker, but it would be the team in red, white and black that would score next. With Ruohomaa in the box, Connor Brown got the puck to Maxime Comtois in the slot. Comtois then tapped the pass between his legs to Adam Henrique at the side of the net, beating Olkinuora for the 2-2 goal.
For the first time in tournament history, the championship required continuous 3-on-3 overtime to decide the winner. After great chances at both ends, Nick Paul would win the game for Canada after scoring on a pass from his Senators teammate, Connor Brown, to secure the win in an unlikely scenario.
USA Cruises to Bronze Medal Victory
It never really was in doubt on Sunday as the United States was able to beat Germany 6-1 to win the bronze medal.
USA was able to take home bronze for the fourth time since 2013 and the fifth time since 2000. USA has not won gold since the 1960 tournament when the Olympics used to double up as the World Championship
The Americans had a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission thanks to a goal from defenseman Christian Wolanin. But from there, a four-goal outburst from Conor Garland, Jack Drury, Jason Robertson and Trevor Moore put the game too far out of reach for a German team that was seeking a medal for the first time since 1953.
Dom Bittner would score at 49:28 in the game but Ryan Donato scored under 30 seconds later to finish off the scoring for the United States.
MVP: Andrew Mangiapane, CAN
Forward: Liam Kirk, GB
Forward: Conor Garland, CAN
Forward: Andrew Mangiapane, CAN
Defense: Korbinian Holzer, GER
Defense: Moritz Seider, GER
Goalie: Juho Olkinuora, FIN
Directorate Award Winners
Best Goaltender: Cal Petersen, USA
Best Defenseman: Moritz Seider, GER
Best Forward: Peter Cehlarik, SVK
7. Czech Republic
14. Great Britain