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Golden feeling: Hedman leads Sweden to top finish at World Championship

All seven Lightning skaters, plus head coach Jon Cooper, earned tournament medals on Sunday

by Bryan Burns / TampaBayLightning.com

All seven Tampa Bay Lightning skaters plus Lightning and Team Canada head coach Jon Cooper earned a medal at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, which concluded Sunday with the gold medal and third-place games.

Sweden won its first gold medal since 2013 by beating Canada 2-1 in a championship game shootout at LANXESS Arena in Cologne. NIcklas Backstrom and Oliver Ekman-Larsson made their shootout attempts for Sweden. Canada went 0-for-4, including a blocked attempt for Lightning center Brayden 
Point, who was 5-for-7 in shootouts during his rookie campaign with the Bolts.

Sweden goaltender Henrik Lundqvist made all four stops in the shootout.

Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman netted Sweden's lone goal in regulation, scoring shorthanded and unassisted with 21 seconds remaining in the second period to put his side up 1-0.

Canada responded almost immediately in the third. Ryan O'Reilly converted a power play 10 seconds after Elias Lindholm was sent to the penalty box for high-sticking and 1:58 into the final period to tie the game 1-1.

Another 20 minutes of back-and-forth action wasn't enough to produce a game-winner in overtime, and Sweden dominated the shootout to win its 10th gold medal all time at the World Championship.

In addition to scoring Sweden's only goal, Hedman led his team for time on ice (31:45) as he did for nearly every game of the tournament. Hedman finished the competition with two goals and two assists and was plus-eight through 10 games.

Bolts teammate Anton Stralman was second on Sweden for time on ice (29:08) and took three shots in the gold medal game. For the tourney, he logged four assists and, like Hedman, was also plus-eight through 10 contests.

Cooper's Team Canada was searching for its third-consecutive gold medal at Worlds but came up just short.

Point had four shots on goal in the championship game and logged 20:22 of ice time. He scored four 
goals, added an assist and was plus-seven in his 10 tournament games.

Lightning forward Alex Killorn didn't register a point in the gold medal game and went without a point for the tournament. Killorn played 15:48 in the final and took one shot.

Russia captured a bronze medal for the second-straight year following a 5-3 victory over Finland in the early game in Cologne.

Russia broke out to a 4-0 lead behind a pair of goals from Nikita Gusev and markers by Vladimir Tkachyov and Bogdan Kiselevich, but Finland pushed back, scoring three-consecutive goals, the third a power-play goal by Veli-Matti Savinainen with 14:31 to go.

Tampa Bay star forward Nikita Kucherov put the Russians back in control with his seventh goal of the tournament, this one coming 2:34 after Finland cut it to a one-goal game, for a 5-3 Russia advantage.
Kucherov tied Gusev and Sweden's William Nylander for most goals in the tournament (7) and ranked second for tournament scoring (15 points) behind teammate Artemi Panarin (4-13-17).

Kucherov had two shots and was plus-one playing 16:51 in the bronze medal game.

Vladislav Namestnikov earned an assist on Russia's game-winning goal and was plus-one with two shots in 13:17 of action against Finland.

Namestnikov picked up three goals and three assists and was plus-seven through 10 games at Worlds.
Andrei Vasilevskiy made 26 saves on 29 shots to win his seventh game of the tournament and backstop 

Russia to bronze, the fourth-consecutive year Russia has medaled at Worlds. Vasilevskiy finished the tourney with a 1.72 goals-against average and .936 save percentage.

During the post-tournament award ceremony, Vasilevskiy was named Best Goalie and was selected to the tournament All-Star Team along with forwards Nylander, Panarin and Nathan MacKinnon (Canada) and defensemen Colton Parayko (Canada) and Dennis Seidenberg (Germany).

Seidenberg won the tournament's Best Defenseman award and Panarin was tapped as the Best Forward.
Sweden's Nylander was selected tournament MVP.

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