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Added May 23rd, 2016 by Ian

Canada wins second straight Men’s World Ice Hockey Championship

Canada beat Finland 2-0 at the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Hockey Championships in Moscow, Russia on May 22nd to take the gold medal. It was the nation’s second straight triumph at the tournament and their 26th overall. Goaltender Cam Talbot made 16 saves for his fourth shutout of the event. The game was revenge of sorts for the Canadians as Finland downed them 4-0 in the group stage of the event. Conor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, who was the first pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, scored the game winner with his first goal of the tournament at the 11:24 mark of the first period. Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche then added an insurance marker into an empty net with just a second to play after Finland had pulled their goalie in a last ditch effort to tie the game.

McDavid added eight assists for nine points in the tournament, but 18-year-old Finnish winger Patrik Laine was named the event’s most valuable player. Laine, who scored seven goals and five assists in the tournament, is expected to be drafted first or second overall at the upcoming Entry Draft in Buffalo, New York on June 24th. It was a heartbreaking loss for Finland as it was their only defeat of the tournament and the only time they had trailed in the entire event. Host nation Russia, who were beaten 3-1 by Finland in the semifinals, won the bronze medal with a convincing 7-2 victory over the USA earlier in the day. The Americans dropped a close 4-3 decision to Canada in their semifinal tilt.

The Americans fielded the youngest team at the IIHF tournament with an average age of 23. The squad was led by 18-year-old Auston Mathews of Arizona, who is widely expected to be drafted first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in June. Matthews, like Laine, also stood out at the tournament with six goals and three assists to tie for his team’s lead in scoring with Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings. Some NHL general managers would choose Laine first in the upcoming draft as he was also named the most valuable player of the Finnish league playoffs for leading his club Tampere to the championship. However, it’s believed the Leafs are looking for a big, powerful centre and have their heart set on Matthews. If they take Matthews, then the Winnipeg Jets, who draft second, will jump all over Laine.

As for McDavid of Canada, he became the youngest ever player to win a gold medal at the Under 18 World Championship, the World Junior Championship and the Men’s IIHF World Championship as he won all three before turning 19 years old. Canadian Sam Reinhart of the Buffalo Sabres also achieved the trio of gold medals with the win over Finland, but he’s 20 years old and the second youngest to achieve the feat. The record for the youngest-ever was previously set by 24-year-old Russian defenceman Fedor Tyutin.

While Laine was named as the tournament’s top forward, his teammate Mikko Koskinen captured the award as the best goaltender and Michael Matheson of Canada was named the best defender. The media then chose the All-Star team for the event and included Laine, Matheson and Koskinen along with Russian defenceman Nikita Zaitsev, Finnish forward Mikael Granlund and Russian centre Vadim Shipachyov, who led the tournament in point scoring with 18 and in assists with 12. Laine and Swedish forward Gustav Nyquist led the event in goals with seven each. Next year’s IIHF World Championship will be co-hosted by Cologne, Germany and Paris, France.

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