Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored one of Team Sweden's two shootout goals to key its 2-1 win over Team Canada on Sunday in the gold medal game of the IIHF World Championship in Cologne, Germany.
The championship is Team Sweden's first at this tournament since 2013.
Team Sweden Head Coach Rikard Gronborg chose Ekman-Larsson to shoot third in the decisive shootout, and Ekman-Larsson scored with a forehanded shot over the blocker of Team Canada goalie Calvin Pickard. The goal gave the Swedes a 2-0 lead in what was slated to be a five-round shootout. However, The Canadians failed to score on Swedish goalie Henrik Lundqvist on their first four attempts and lost the shootout 2-0. Per the IIHF, the only other World Championship gold medal game to be decided by a shootout occurred in 1994, when Canada beat Finland.
Both teams notched just one goal each on Sunday over 80 minutes - three regulation periods and one 20-minute overtime session.
Ekman-Larsson played 27:40 in the gold medal game and took five shots on goal. Only forward Joakim Nordstrom took more shots (six) among the Swedes.
Ekman-Larsson had won two silver medals and two bronze medals playing for Team Sweden in major international tournaments. The gold he earned on Sunday is his first. It was a sweet finish to the season for Ekman-Larsson, who left the Coyotes with three games left on the schedule to return to Sweden because of the death of his mother, Annika.
Ekman-Larsson competed in eight of Team Sweden's 10 games in this tournament. He chipped in two goals and three assists, plus the shootout goal on Sunday, which turned out to be the final goal of the 17-day, 16-nation event.