Sweden has won the gold!
For the first time since 2013, team Sweden has won the gold medal at the IIHF World Championships. The low scoring game went all the way to overtime at 1-1, eventually leading to the unfortunate championship round shootout the international rules use. The best of five shootout ended with Sweden winning 2-0, with goals coming from Nicklas Backstrom (WSH) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI). Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (NYR) stopped 42 shots before stopping all four shots in the shootout to lead his team to victory. This was the first tournament in which Henrik was able to play alongside his twin brother Joel since 2002. Joel captained team Sweden to victory, winning gold for the third time in his career as a part of team Sweden.
Team Canada fell to the silver medal with this loss. After receiving stellar goaltending from Calvin Pickard (COL) during regulation and overtime, Pickard allowed two goals against from two very formidable opponents. He received no help from his team as they were unable to slip any past the Rangers netminder at the other end. Pickard made 41 saves in regulation and overtime.
Team Russia defeated Finland by a score of 5-3 to capture the Bronze medal. Two Russians led the tournament in points with Artemi Panarin (CHI) leading the way with 17 in 9 games. Nikita Kucherov (TB) and Nathan Mackinnon (COL) were right behind him, each scoring a total of 15 in 10 games. The gold and silver goalies proved to be the best throughout the tournament, each playing over 300 total minutes and maintaining two of the highest save percentages across all goalies including ones who had played many fewer games.
That’s it for the 2017 IIHF World Hockey Championships in Paris, France. The NHL players will now return to their offseason rituals and continue to watch the playoffs as Monday night the Predators will look to close our their series against Anaheim and head to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in their history.