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Silver for Sanheim at 2022 Worlds

Travis Sanheim has brought back a silver medal from the IIHF World Championship as a member of Team Canada.

by Bill Meltzer @billmeltzer / philadelphiaflyers.com

The lone current Flyers player to accept an invitation from his national hockey federation to represent his country at the 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Finland, defenseman Travis Sanheim has brought back a silver medal from the tournament as a member of Team Canada. He finished the tournament with four points (1g, 3a) and a plus-seven rating in 10 games played while averaging 16:39 of ice time.

In the gold medal game, Canada led in the third period, 1-0, until 5-on-3 and 5-on-4 power play goals by Mikael Granlund put Finland ahead. Joel Armia gave Finland a 3-1 lead with 5:56 left in regulation. 

However, goals by Zach Whitecloud at 17:48 and by Max Comtois at 18:36 knotted the score at 3-3 to force overtime. Back in the second period, Dylan Cozens opened the scoring for Canada at the 4:00 mark. In overtime, all five shots belonged to Finland. With Thomas Chabot in the penalty box for hooking, Sakari Manninen scored the gold-medal winning goal at 6:42.

During the tournament, Sanheim's most notable individual moments came in the second game of the preliminary round (May 15), the seventh and final preliminary round game (May 24) and the medal round semifinals against Czechia (Czech Republic). 

In a preliminary round match against Italy, Sanheim scored Team Canada's first goal in a 6-1 victory. Canada trailed early, 1-0, before Sanheim tied the score with a point shot that found the net at 15:50 of the first period. Overall, Sanheim had three shots on goal and skated 17:54 across 19 shifts in that game.

Tweet from @HockeyCanada: 🎯 for @sanheim17.#IIHFWorldspic.twitter.com/g6AM7AEYhg

In the preliminary round finale, Canada was coming off an upset loss at the hands of Denmark. They took their frustrations out on Team France in a 7-1 blowout victory. Sanheim earned two assists in the game including a primary helper on a point shot that Buffalo Sabres forward Dylan Cozens tipped home for the game's first goal. Sanheim, who was paired in that game with New Jersey Devils defenseman Damon Severson, later picked up another primary assist on a play in which Anaheim Ducks forward found Sanheim's rebound sitting on the doorstep to stash into the cage. 

Tweet from @StevenEllisTHN: Maxime Comtois scores to make it 2-0. Crashes the net and gets it. Sanheim and Severson with the assists. #IIHFWorlds pic.twitter.com/xfnPngLe6k

Exiting the preliminary round, Canada had a 5-2-0 record. In the single-elimination medal round, Canada drew Sweden in the quarterfinal. The Canadian side prevailed, 4-3, in a hard-fought contest decided in overtime by a goal from Ottawa Senators forward Drake Batherson. In the semifinal game, Canada had a much less stressful match against the Czechs in what turned out to be a 6-1 victory. Sanheim did not record a point in this game but moved the puck well and took care of business across 27 mostly efficient shifts and 18:43 of ice time. 

Ultimately, Team Canada came up a goal short in the gold medal game against Finland. A couple of controversial calls went against the Canadian side in the third period and overtime, and the Finns capitalized. Nonetheless, the tourney was an overall success for Canada as a team and Sanheim as an individual player. For Sanheim, it was his first time playing for Team Canada since the 2015-16 World Junior Championship. It was his second medal at a major international competition. Back in 2014, Sanheim was part of the bronze medal winning Canadian team at the Under-18 Worlds.

Shortly after the medal ceremony at the 2022 Worlds, Travis Sanheim's mother, Shelly, posted a congratulatory Tweet to her son and his teammates on Team Canada for earning the silver medal. Even without Team Russia or Belarus being permitted to participate in IIHF competitions due to the current situation in Ukraine, there is a tough field of contenders. With the playoff round being a single-elimination format, pretty much anything can happen. There was no shame in winning silver, especially on the Finns' home ice. 

Tweet from @Shellysanheim: Super proud of our son and all of Team Canada! 🇨🇦🏒🥅Congratulations on Silver! #GoCanadaGo pic.twitter.com/4OmYmL3X6K
 

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