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World Championship

Henrik Lundqvist wins gold medal with Sweden at Worlds

Rangers goaltender makes 42 saves in shootout victory against Canada

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

COLOGNE, Germany -- Henrik Lundqvist is golden once again.

The New York Rangers goaltender made 42 saves and stopped all four shootout attempts in Sweden's 2-1 win against Canada in the gold medal game of the 2017 IIHF World Championship at Lanxess Arena on Sunday. 

He did so with twin brother Joel Lundqvist, a forward with Sweden, as his captain.

Henrik Lundqvist joined Sweden after the Rangers lost to the Ottawa Senators in six games in the Eastern Conference Second Round.

"It's a great feeling," he said with trophy in hand, gold medal draped around his neck and golden confetti still stuck to his pads. "When I left New York, I was very disappointed the way it ended there. I also saw this as a big opportunity for me to come and play for my country and play with my brother.

"I don't know how many more chances I'll get. This was the goal, the dream. I pictured this. We had the team for it. I put a lot of pressure on myself to come here and help the team to do it."

It's the first time Lundqvist has won gold with Sweden since the 2006 Turin Olympics, and his first time playing in the World Championship since 2008.

"It's extra emotional, for sure," said Joel Lundqvist, who has spent the past eight seasons with Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League. "A win is a win, a gold medal, but to do it here with Henrik … we grew up watching Team Sweden play, and to win a gold medal together is a dream come true for sure. I know Henrik when he lost over in New York he was disappointed, but I told him right away we had a great group here and to come, 'we want you and we need you.' He played his best hockey. We needed it. It's awesome. To be here today winning a gold medal together, it's an amazing feeling. It's a dream come true, for sure."

The addition of Henrik Lundqvist to Sweden's roster was a very welcomed addition, according to his teammates.

"My god, it's so hard to describe," Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "He's the backbone of this team. Him and Joel, their parents must be pretty proud. Henrik is just so calm back there. It spreads through our whole team and whole lineup as far as how we play and how we act in the dressing room and things like that. He's the backbone of this team, for sure."

Canada entered the gold medal game as the two-time defending champion after winning in 2015 and 2016. Sweden hadn't won the tournament since 2013.

Lundqvist helped changed that.

He allowed one goal through regulation and overtime, and denied Nathan MacKinnon, Brayden Point, Ryan O'Reilly and Mitch Marner in the shootout.

His final save, which was against Marner, clinched gold.

"You try to stay in the moment," he said. "That's the key. Don't get ahead of yourself, even when you start scoring and you can just feel we're getting closer and closer, don't get ahead of yourself. Stay in the moment and focus on the next shot. When it was over, it was just an amazing feeling.

"Obviously to pull it off the way we did is a great feeling."

It also guaranteed an emotional embrace at the blue line between brothers, together as World Champions.

"It was just a pretty emotional moment, I think for Joel as well," said Henrik, who finished the tournament undefeated in four starts and with a 1.31 goals against average and .946 save percentage. "To do this together … we've been on separate ways here the past 12 years, but growing up we were always on the same team spending every day together. To come here and play for your country and pull this off, it's one of the best feelings.

"I'm super proud and grateful."

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