Tyler Toffoli, Jake Muzzin
, Martin Jones
and their Canadian teammates defeated Russia, 6-1, to become the 2015 IIHF World Champions Sunday night at O2 Arena in Prague.
The Canadians didn't need any extra motivation for tonight's game, but when the Russians provided them with some in the form of a staredown during warmups, it was enough to push them over the end and dominate this game.
"That was exactly what our team needed. We talked about which staredown would be more important - the one before the game or the one after - and we decided that it'd be the one after so, we appreciate the motivation," said Canada head coach Todd McLellan. "This wasn't a 3-2 win. It was a 6-1 thrashing….it was very satisfying."
Canada pressured from the opening face-off including opportunities by Tyson Barrie, Muzzin and Sidney Crosby as they peppered Sergei Bobrovsky with 14 shots. Then with 1:50 left in the opening period, Tyler Ennis shot the puck on net after pulling a little spin-o-rama to shake off the defender that hit Cody Eakin on the way past Bobrovsky to give Canada the 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
"We just played our game and didn't worry about what they had to offer," Toffoli said. "We wanted to come out, play hard and play physical and not give them any room."
Less than two minutes into the second period, it was Ennis again making things happen. This time it was a beautiful wraparound to make it 2-0.
A minute and a half later, Sergei Mozyakin had a great shot on goal that was saved by Mike Smith. It would be Russia's only shot on goal in the period as Canada dominated possession and smothered every Russian offensive opportunity.
"We shut them down," said Toffoli. "We played hard and we didn't give them a lot of opportunities and that's what you have to do against that kind of team."
Nearing the midway point of the game, Jordan Eberle makes a great pass from behind the net to Crosby waiting in the low circle with a quick release and it's 3-0, Canada. Less than a minute later, Tyler Seguin makes it 4-0 as the trailer on a partial breakaway by Claude Giroux and the Russian's are reeling.
So much so, that they would take three penalties in the next eight minutes of the game.
In the third period, Russia tried to generate more offensively, but Canada just pushed back even harder. Giroux scored on the power play and Nathan MacKinnon scored a fluky goal to make it 6-0.
With seven minutes left in regulation, Yevgeni Malkin tipped in Mozyakin's shot from the point to end Smith's scoreless streak at 190 minutes, but it wasn't nearly enough as Canada takes home the gold for the first time in eight years at this event.
With the win, Crosby becomes a member of the Triple Gold Club having won a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold and now World Championship gold.
Brent Burns, Taylor Hall and Jason Spezza, who tied with Eberle and Hall for the tournament lead in point with 14, were named to the media's All Star Team.
"I thought we had a lot of talent on this team," said Richards. "But talent doesn't win games alone. Talent has to work. Talent has to play together. Talent has to be committed to doing the little things that are very, very important to win and we had that game in and game out."
"This is different…having won the Stanley Cup last year, this is just a different feeling," Toffoli said. "When you represent your country it's an honor and to have this gold medal hanging on my neck, it's pretty surreal right now."