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Crosby, Canada rout Russia to win gold at Worlds

by Staff

Captain Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) had a goal and an assist to help Canada to a 6-1 win against Russia in the gold-medal game of the 2015 IIHF World Championship on Sunday at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic.

It is Canada's first gold medal since 2007 and the 25th time it has won the World Championship.

Crosby joins the Triple Gold Club for players who have won the Stanley Cup, an Olympic gold medal and a World Championship. He is the 26th player and ninth Canadian-born player to do so. Crosby is the first to captain all three championship teams.

"It is a great honor joining the Triple Gold Club. I've been fortunate to play for some great teams," Crosby said, according to the IIHF website. "You need some luck too. Guys have played in different events and sometimes you don't get the luck. I feel pretty fortunate to be a part of this and we could do it as a group."

Center Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers) had a goal and an assist, and goalie Mike Smith (Arizona Coyotes) made 11 saves. Canada finished the tournament undefeated (10-0-0-0).

Canada forward Jason Spezza (Dallas Stars) was the tournament's leading scorer with six goals and 14 points in 10 games. Canada outscored its opponents 66-15 in the tournament.

Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins) scored and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets) made 31 saves for Russia.

Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) was held to two shots on goal in 15:57 of ice time.

Canada outshot Russia 37-12, including 14-1 in the second period.

"We knew they are good off the rush, strong on the puck," Canada defenseman Jake Muzzin (Los Angeles Kings) said. "We had to play tight defense and hard on those guys to eliminate their chances. They did get some opportunities but [Smith] was there to make some big saves but for the most part we stayed to our plan and executed it."

Cody Eakin (Dallas Stars) gave Canada a 1-0 lead with 1:50 left in the first period. Tyler Ennis (Buffalo Sabres) skated through the high slot, made a spin move and sent a shot that was deflected off Eakin's foot and past Bobrovsky.

Canada outshot Russia 15-5 in the first and was able to maintain possession for most of the period.

Ennis made it 2-0 at 1:56 of the second. He skated past Russia defenseman Andrei Mironov, carried the puck behind the net and scored on a wraparound.

Crosby gave Canada a 3-0 lead at 7:22 of the second. Canada defenseman Dan Hamhuis (Vancouver Canucks) sent the puck down low where Jordan Eberle (Edmonton Oilers) was able to maintain it along the boards. Eberle sent a pass to Crosby, who beat Bobrovsky top shelf with a wrist shot.

"I don't think you come into a game like this thinking you're going to win 6-1," Crosby said. "They are a dangerous team that even with a two- or three-goal lead you really can't sit back. It was good to get a big lead there and the inside of five minutes we started to enjoy it more because we knew it was getting closer. It is not always that way."

Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars) scored his tournament-leading ninth goal 44 seconds later off of a no-look pass from Giroux to give Canada a 4-0 lead. Russia coach Oleg Znarok then used his timeout, but he opted to keep Bobrovsky in goal.

Giroux made it 5-0 with a power-play goal at 8:58 of the third. Canada forward Ryan O'Reilly (Colorado Avalanche) passed down low to Crosby, who fed Giroux in front of the net for the score.

Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche) scored Canada's sixth goal of the game at 9:50 of the third.

"You expect to come here and have tight games," Crosby said. "You look at the semifinal: 2-0. It could have gone either way. Today, we just played a great game. We buried our chances. Our depth really showed. We had a lot of forwards who could contribute, but our defense was able to add to the offense. Our goaltending was really solid. All the way through, a great team effort."

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