Sochi, Russia (WGR 550) -- Two days after shutting out Team USA in the semi-finals, Canada came away with the gold medal following a 3-0 victory over Sweden in the finals.
Carey Price was named the tournament’s best goaltender, and turned away 24 shots to earn the shut-out. Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves for Sweden, while Sweden’s Erik Karlsson was named the best defenseman of the tournament. Team USA forward Phil Kessel was named the tournament’s best forward.
It is the second consecutive gold medal for the Canadians, who defeated Team USA for the Gold Medal in Vancouver four years ago. It is also the first gold medal won by the Canadians on European soil since 1952, when Canada defeated Team U.S.A in Oslo, Norway.
Canada was the first to strike as Jonathan Toews deflected a shot by Jeff Carter to score the lone goal in the first period. Sidney Crosby doubled Canada’s lead in the second period, when he beat Lundqvist on a break-away. In the third period, Chris Kunitz scored his first goal of the tournament to put Canada up 3-0. The Canadians would then hold on to secure the 3-0 win.
Sweden battled injuries all tournament long and also lost arguably their best player before the Gold Medal game. Aside from not having Herik Sedin, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen due to injuries, the Swedes had to play the final game of the tournament without Nicklas Backstrom. The Washington Capitals’ Center was banned from playing in the game due to testing positive for taking Claritin, a banned substance. Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder entered the lineup in his place.
The only Gold Medal tie to Buffalo is former Sabres Coach Lindy Ruff, who served as an Assistant Coach for Team Canada. Only two Sabres came away with medals as both Tallinder and Goaltender Jhonas Enroth were part of Sweden’s silver medal team.