TAMPERE, Finland – Canada’s National Men’s Team is bringing home the silver medal from the 2022 IIHF World Championship after falling 4-3 to Finland in an overtime thriller in the gold medal game Sunday.
After a scoreless first period, Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, Y.T./Buffalo, NHL) broke the deadlock on a second-period power play, firing a one-timer past Finnish goaltender Jussi Olkinuora – the first goal allowed by Finland’s penalty kill in the tournament. That lead stood until the early minutes of the third period, when Mikael Granlund scored back-to-back power-play goals to get the Finns even and then put the hosts ahead, and Joel Armia increased the lead to 3-1 with 5:56 left.
With less than three minutes remaining and the Canadian net empty, Zach Whitecloud (Brandon, Man./Vegas, NHL) brought Canada within one, and Max Comtois (Longueuil, Que./Anaheim, NHL) scored the equalizer with 1:24 left to the send the game to overtime. Mathew Barzal (Coquitlam, B.C./New York Islanders, NHL) was instrumental in mounting the comeback, registering the primary assist on all three Canadian goals.
Sakari Manninen ended the game 6:42 into overtime, leaving Canada with its 16th silver medal and 51st medal overall at the world championship.
“The fact that we were able to come back in two big games shows how much character this team has. We never gave up, we believed in ourselves, and obviously it is difficult to come up short like we did,” said captain Thomas Chabot (Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, Que./Ottawa, NHL). “We have to give Finland a lot of credit, because they are a great team. They play well together and that is a big reason why they were playing against us today.”
Chris Driedger (Winnipeg, Man/Seattle, NHL) was stellar in the Canadian goal, stopping 16 shots before being forced to leave the game early in the third period due to injury. Matt Tomkins (Sherwood Park, Alta./Frölunda HC, SHL) made his IIHF World Championship debut in relief of Driedger, making 11 saves.
A full game summary can be found at HockeyCanada.ca.
Following the gold medal game, Pierre-Luc Dubois (Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Que./Winnipeg, NHL) was named to the media all-star team.
“To lose in overtime when you are short-handed is frustrating. You work so hard all tournament, and to come that close to winning is a difficult thing to fathom,” said Dubois. “I like to win, and that is why I wanted to represent Canada. It is an honour to represent your country, and this team was unbelievable. We gave it everything we had, we went through the ups and downs, but we stuck with it and we were so close to taking home gold.”
“We had great character on this hockey club. Two big games [against Sweden and Finland] where we were down by two goals, and we were able to tie the games in the final two minutes,” said head coach Claude Julien (Orleans, Ont.). “That shows the type of team we had. I am proud of our guys that came over here to represent Canada, and I am so proud of how hard they played all tournament.”
Canada finished the preliminary round in third place in Group A after wins over Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Kazakhstan and France. It booked a spot in the gold medal game with a dramatic come-from-behind 4-3 overtime win against Sweden in the quarterfinals and a convincing 6-1 win over Czechia in the semifinals.
Since 1931, Canada has collected 28 gold medals at the world championship, to go along with 16 silver and seven bronze.
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