Canada beat Finland 3-2 in overtime to win 27th world title, first since 2016
RIGA, Latvia – Canada’s National Men’s Team won gold at the 2021 IIHF World Championship after coming back in the third period to secure a 3-2 overtime win over Finland in the gold medal game Sunday.
Nick Paul (Mississauga, Ont./Ottawa, NHL) played the heroes in the final, completing a fine pass in the enclave of Connor Brown (Toronto, ON/Ottawa, NHL) 6:26 into overtime to earn Canada its 27and world title (considering the years when the Olympic gold medalist team was also considered world champion).
The Canadian team is the first team to win gold at the tournament after losing its first three games.
In a replay of the 2019 final, the Finns opened the books with a goal from Mikael Ruohomaa midway through the first period. Maxime Comtois (Longueuil, QC/Anaheim, NHL) replied on a power play by his own in the second to tie the game, but the Finns regained the lead thanks to a net from Petteri Lindbohm in the third.
Adam Henrique (Burford, Ont./Anaheim, NHL) tied the game in the third period on another Canada power play with 7:23 to play, completing a blind pass from Comtois to force overtime.
“Our 3-0 record wasn’t the start to the tournament we were hoping for, but our group came together,” Paul explained. “The end of our journey had been announced, but we knew that we were going to join forces, work hard and end up winning. The match was closer than we would have liked, but it was an incredible game, hard fought, and I’m very proud at the moment. »
“You get used to the game of the Finns, they play well structured and are solid defensively,” said Henrique. “We knew it was going to be a close game. We knew we had to find a way to score a few goals to win because when the Finns take the lead it’s hard to come back, and they’ve proven that year after year. »
Darcy Kuemper (Saskatoon, SK/Arizona, NHL) blocked 29 shots for his sixth victory of the tournament. He was unstoppable in the playoffs, racking up a .947 save percentage in wins against COR, USA and Finland.
The full game report and summary is posted on HockeyCanada.ca.
“It feels good”, summed up the head coach Gerard Gallant (Summerside, PEI). “Obviously we were in a deep hole at the start of the tournament, but we improved as the games went on. The duel tonight was exceptional, and Finland are a good team. We fought well, we came from behind and, luckily for us, we got the upper hand in overtime. But congratulations to Finland, they are a team that defended their title well, and it was a good game tonight. »
At the end of the meeting, Andrew Mangiapane (Bolton, Ont./Calgary, NHL) was named tournament MVP. He finished the tournament with seven goals, four of which gave Canada the victory, and four assists in seven games played. He was also named to the Media All-Star Team.
“I believe Mangiapane came at the right time and brought something we needed,” Henrique said. “His arrival was significant for our team and for our chemistry, it clicked on the ice, and it was decisive for the future. »
After losing to Latvia, the United States and Germany, Canada overcame Italy, Kazakhstan and Norway, before suffering a loss to Finland at the end of the knockout round. With a little help along the way to the quarter-finals, Canada earned a spot in the gold medal game in a 3-2 overtime win over COR in the quarter-finals and a 4-2 semi-final victory over the United States.
For more information on Canada’s National Men’s Team, visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow social media on Facebook and Twitter.