TORONTO, ON - It was an outcome certainly in doubt for some time, but Canada managed to tie the game late and score the game-winning goal shorthanded to win the World Cup of Hockey, 2-1 over Team Europe.
In their previous five games combined, Canada trailed for a total of only 2:41. Europe made sure to change that narrative by striking first and maintaining their lead well into the third.
Defenceman Zdeno Chara opened scoring for Team Europe at 6:26 of the first period, sniping a shot top shelf, glove side of Carey Price. He was set up by Oilers defenceman Andrej Sekera, and Frans Nielsen.
Video: POSTGAME RAW | Crosby and Marchand
Europe had several chances to increase their lead throughout the remainder of the first, including a shorthanded breakaway at 12:30 by Marian Hossa.
Europe outshot the Canadians 12-8 in the opening frame, and frustrations boiled over into some chippy play at the buzzer. There was a scrum to the side of Europe's net with multiple players on both sides involved.
At 2:31 of the second, Canada fans groaned as John Tavares missed a glorious chance at the equalizer, hammering a shot at the wide-open net off the post.
At 5:15 of the second, Price made a huge save as Anze Kopitar set up Thomas Vanek back door.
In the third, Europe had another great chance to add to their one-goal lead when Tobias Rieder set up Nielsen one-on-one with Price but he couldn't finish.
With seven minutes left in the game, Sidney Crosby's line generated sustained pressure and offensive zone possession but could not net the tying goal.
With 3:35 left in the third, Canada went on their fifth power play of the game. The fifth time was the charm. With Kopitar in the box for holding Corey Perry, Patrice Bergeron deflected in a point shot by Brent Burns for the equalizer at 17:07.
Video: WORLD CUP | Canada Crowned Champs
Europe got a power-play opportunity of their own at 18:10 of the final regulation frame. Roman Josi rang a shot off the post behind Price to nearly take back the lead. Price then covered up a shot from the slot to freeze the puck moments later.
Then Canada came back the other way.
With 43.1 seconds left in the game, Marchand lifted Canada to their first lead of the night, shorthanded, with a snipe from the high slot.
"Just crazy the way everything worked out," said Crosby. "I mean, when you get a penalty that late in the game, you're just trying to force overtime, and then Marchy comes down and buries one like that, pretty unbelievable feeling, considering how hard we had to work to get our chances here tonight. It wasn't easy."
Canada held on in the final seconds to win the World Cup of Hockey, going undefeated in tournament play and sweeping Europe in two games.
Crosby earned MVP honours with three goals and seven assists in six games for Canada.