Canada capped off a dominating performance at the World Championship with an impressive victory in the gold medal game. Cody Eakin registered one goal and one assist and Tyler Seguin also scored as Canada rolled over Russia, 6-1, Sunday to claim its first gold medal at the Worlds since 2007.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Seguin told TSN. “It was a lot of guys I didn’t know coming over here and for us to come together and get better every day, it’s a great feeling walking away with a gold medal.”
The Canadian team, assembled by Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill, was dominant at the tournament in Czech Republic, outscoring its opposition 66-15 in putting together a 10-0 record. Canada dominated Sunday, outshooting Russia 37-12 including 14-1 in the second period.
“We were getting better every day and every game,” Seguin told TSN. “They have a lot of power over there and a lot of offensive ability, we were just so good in our own zone and how we played our system.”
But it was a scoreless game until late in the first period when a Tyler Ennis shot from the slot deflected in off the skate of Eakin to give Canada a 1-0 lead. Eakin then assisted on an Ennis goal early in the second to extend the lead to 2-0. Sidney Crosby and Seguin scored goals 44 seconds apart later in the second to double Canada’s lead. Seguin scored from close range off a slick pass from Claude Giroux. Canada extended the lead to 6-0 in the third on goals by Giroux and Nathan MacKinnon. Russia’s Evgeni Malkin scored with 7:13 remaining, snapping Canadian goaltender Mike Smith’s shutout streak at 190:03.
Jason Spezza didn’t factor in the scoring Sunday, but he played a big role for Canada at the World Championship. The Stars center led the tournament in scoring with 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in ten games. He was named the best forward at the tournament and was selected to the tournament All-Star Team. Seguin was the tournament’s top goal scorer with nine in ten games. Eakin chipped in with six points (four goals, two assists).
USA takes bronze
Connor Hellebuyck made 39 saves and Nick Bonino, Brock Nelson and Charlie Coyle scored goals as the USA defeated Czech Republic, 3-0, Sunday to take the bronze medal. It was the second bronze medal in the past three years for the USA.
Bonino scored 7:25 into the game to provide Hellebuyck and the USA the only goal they would need. Nelson scored late in the first and Coyle scored late in the second for the Americans, who were coming off a disappointing 4-0 loss to Russia in the semifinals.
“I’m very proud,” USA captain Matt Hendricks told IIHF.com. “Obviously we wanted to be playing for the gold medal. But we were able to rally the troops and come out tonight and play a very, very strong game, backed by a great performance from our goaltender.”
Stars goaltending prospect Jack Campbell backed up Hellebuyck on Sunday. Campbell played in two games for the USA, posting a 1-1 record, posting a 3.50 goals-against average and .825 save percentage.
Most Valuable Player (selected by the media)
Jaromir Jagr, Czech Republic
Individual Awards (selected by the tournament directorate)
Best Goaltender: Pekka Rinne, Finland
Best Defenseman: Brent Burns, Canada
Best Forward: Jason Spezza, Canada
All-Star Team (selected by the media)
Goaltender: Connor Hellebuyck, USA
Defenseman: Brent Burns, Canada
Defenseman: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Sweden
Forward: Jaromir Jagr, Czech Republic
Forward: Jason Spezza, Canada
Forward: Taylor Hall, Canada
Here are some notes on Stars players who were not involved the medal games at the World Championship.
*Stars defense prospect Esa Lindell was named one of Finland’s three best players at the tournament. Lindell registered six points (two goals, four assists) in eight games and tied for fifth in defensemen scoring at the Worlds. Lindell tied for the team lead with a plus-five rating. He ranked second on Finland in average ice time at 17:23 per game and led the Finns with 26 shots on goal.
*John Klingberg tied for fifth in defensemen scoring at the tournament with six points (two goals, four assists) in seven games for Sweden. Klingberg led Sweden with a plus-nine rating. He ranked fourth on Sweden at 19:28 of ice time per game.
*Jyrki Jokipakka scored two goals in eight games for Finland. Jokipakka played 10:57 per game and was a plus-two.
*Jhonas Enroth played in six of Sweden’s eight games, registering a 2.72 goals-against average and .876 save percentage.
*Antoine Roussel had two assists in seven games for France. His 34 penalty minutes were tops at the tournament.
Sunday’s medal games
Gold: Canada 6, Russia 1
Bronze: USA 3, Czech Republic 0
Canada 2, Czech Republic 0
Russia 4, USA 0
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.