FINLAND 3 CANADA 1
For Canada, it started and ended in a flash of blue and white.
Finland dished out some early adversity for the Canadians in the first game of the 2019 IIHF World Championship on May 10 with a 3-1 victory over Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse and his fellow countrymen, leading to them kicking into high gear by winning their next eight matches and outscoring opponents 43-11.
A rematch with the Finns in the gold-medal game provided the same 3-1 result on Sunday in Bratislava, Slovakia as Canada settled for silver in their attempt to match Russia's all-time lead for championships at the tournament with 27.
A less-experienced lineup for Finland highlighted by 19 first-time players at Worlds and 2019 NHL Draft starlet Kaapo Kakko received two goals from captain Marko Antilla and a stellar 43-save performance from netminder Kevin Lankinen to win their first championship since 2011, one that coincidentally came as well in Bratislava.
Shea Theodore opened the scoring at the midway point of the opening frame by roofing a loose puck picked up inside the Finnish blue line, and Canada continued to pour on the pressure in the offensive zone to no avail.
Antilla slid one under Matt Murray on the power play 2:35 into the second, and added the eventual game-winner the exact same amount of time into the final period before Harri Pesonen put the final on ice with just over four minutes left on the clock.
A silver medal is Nurse's first at the senior level and second accolade in the red of Canada after striking gold at World Juniors in 2014-15. The blueliner finished with a stat line of two goals, two assists, and a plus-8 plus/minus rating in his second stint with Canada at the World Championship.