2016 -
Canada shuts out Finland to retain title: McDavid's first goal of the tournament turns out to be a crucial one as Canadian squad edges competitive Finnish team to take gold
23.05.2016. Schram, Carol. The Globe and Mail

Connor McDavid's first goal of the world hockey championship proved to be golden. The defence and goaltending took care of the rest.

McDavid's goal in the first period stood as the winner, backing a 16-save shutout from Cam Talbot as Canada successfully defended its world championship title with a 2-0 win over Finland in the tournament final on Sunday.

"We didn't really feed into their transition and didn't really give them any chance to get anything going off the rush or the end zone," McDavid said. "Anything that we did give up, [Talbot] was amazing."

The 19-year-old Oilers centre, who became the youngest player ever to win gold at the world under-18 tournament, world junior championship and world championship, had eight assists in the first nine games of the tournament, but was one of just two Canadian forwards not to have recorded a goal coming into the gold-medal game.

McDavid ended his drought at the 11 minutes 24 seconds mark of the first period, driving to the net and deking out sprawling Finnish netminder Mikko Koskinen.

Matt Duchene added an emptynet goal with one second left on the clock to seal the win.

Talbot's shutout was his tournament-leading fourth.

"I think we did a good job defensively as a group," coach Bill Peters said.

"Our goaltenders were outstanding each and every night. I think the team in front of [Talbot] was better tonight than the team in front of him versus Finland in the round-robin play [when Canada lost its only game, 4-0]."

The Canadians registered the first seven shots of the game and made adjustments based on what they'd seen from Finland in the preliminary round.

"We used our speed more, we came up with numbers, we made sure we got it deep and we played them in the O zone," Duchene said. "You look at the shots [33-16 for Canada]. I don't know what they had but we doubled them up on shots. Their goalie was good again.

"You get that one [goal] early and make them play from behind, it's a different game."

In a hard-hitting second period, Canada outshot the Finns 13-4.

The best Finnish chances came with Mark Scheifele serving a slashing penalty late in the period, when Talbot stopped Jarno Koskiranta on the doorstep, then denied Patrik Laine as he shot the puck while streaking down the right wing.

Canada continued its aggressive approach in the third, outshooting the Finns 9-5 as the clock ticked down.

"It was tough," Finnish forward Jussi Jokinen said. "They played really good team defence and kind of used our keys, what we've been able to do the whole tournament, kind of shut the other teams down.

"We weren't able to create much, and they deserve all the credit tonight."

Mikko Koskinen made 31 saves for the Finns.

Finland came into the final undefeated with a 9-0 record and had a chance to become the first country to win the world under-18 championship, world junior championship and world championship in the same year.

They fell one game short, but draft-eligible rising star Laine was named the tournament's most valuable player.

Canada is the first repeat gold medalist at the world championship since Russia won back-toback titles in 2008 and '09. Canada's last consecutive wins came in 2003 and '04.

Canadian captain Corey Perry became the 27th player to join the esteemed Triple Gold Club, adding a world championship gold medal to his two Olympic golds from 2010 and '14 and his 2007 Stanley Cup. Perry also won gold at the 2005 world junior championship.

Credit: The Canadian Press 

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