An extremely entertaining and somewhat unpredictable 2019 IIHF World Championship tournament came to its conclusion on Sunday in Bratislava, Slovakia. Both the gold medal and bronze medal games went down to the wire.
Ultimately, Alain Vigneault's Team Canada squad came up short in the gold medal game against a doggedly determined Team Finland, losing 3-1.
Team Czech Republic lost a heartbreaker to Russia via shootout, and did not win a medal.
Canada and Finland went to the third period tied at 1-1 on a nifty Shea Theodore goal off a broken play and a Marko Anttila power play tally. Early in the third period, a moment after Canada defenseman Damon Severson dropped his stick, Anttila scored again to give the Finns a 2-1 lead. Canada pressed heavily after the Finns took the lead until Harri Pesonen scored on a shot through traffic to provide an insurance goal.
Flyers defenseman Philippe Myers played a very active and effective gold medal game for Team Canada, showing off his mobility, size and heavy shot from the point (including a shot that rang off the goal post after beating netminder Kevin Lankinen cleanly). He finished his first senior-level national team tournament for Canada with one assist in seven games played.
Flyers center Sean Couturier played his usual yeoman two-way game for the Canadians. Unfortunately, in the gold medal game, he remained snakebitten offensively. Wearing an "A" as an alternate caption, he posted three points (1g, 2a) in the tournament.
Flyers goaltender Carter Hart played very well in three starts during the preliminary round. He was number 2 on the depth chart and backed up Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Matt Murray throughout the medal round.
In the bronze medal game earlier in the day, Russia defeated the Czech Republic via shootout, 3-2. The Czechs were unable to protect a pair of one-goal leads and were, thereafter, stymied by brilliant 48-save goaltending by Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Czech team captain Jakub Voracek, who finished the tournament with 16 points (4g-12a) in 10 games, played 21:58 in the bronze medal game. He did not get an attempt in the climactic shootout.
Defenseman Radko Gudas, who fired a half-dozen shots on goal against Russia, logged 24:43 of ice time. He finished the tourney with four points (1g-3a), a +10 rating and 8 PIM in 10 games.