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Canada Wins Second Straight Gold Medal

by Photo of Gil Santos

Canada shuts out Sweden 3-0 for the gold medal repeat.

Canada Wins Second Straight Gold Medal

Canada came into Sochi as defending Olympic champions in men's hockey and as the favorites to repeat. They delivered in dominating fashion. Canada closed out the Olympics undefeated as they blanked Sweden 3-0 for their second consecutive Olympic gold medal. 

Like they did all tournament, the Canadians put on a defensive clinic. Canada shut down a shorthanded but dangerous Swedish team, something that hadn't been accomplished in the Olympics. While Canada did not score as many goals as usual, they did not need it with how dominant their team defense was. They end their Olympic journey by not giving up a goal for their final eight periods and only three for the whole tournament.. They were last scored upon in the first period of the quarterfinal game against Latvia. That's an impressive feat and a magnificent coaching job done by Canada's head coach Mike Babcock, who also coached the gold-medal winning team in 2010.  

In addition, Canada was relentless on the forecheck and constantly swarming to the puck. They controlled possession for most of the game and they outshot the Swedes 36 to 24. For the Olympics, the Canadians outshot their opponents by a margin of 112 shots. It was scary how good Canada was with puck possession. 

They also received exceptional goaltending with Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens) in net. Price was a brick wall, stopping all 24 shots thrown at him and giving few, if any, rebounds to Sweden. 

Sweden overcame all the injuries they suffered before and during the tournament, but the loss of center Nicklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals) might have been back breaker especially against a team with a lot of strength and depth down the middle. Sweden's goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers) did all he could to keep his team in the game, but with no offensive production coming from his teammates, it was not enough. Lundqvist finished the game with 33 saves on 36 shots. 

Sweden created the first great chance of the game when Gustav Nyquist (Detroit Red Wings) found himself alone in front. He shot the puck off the post. It would be their best scoring opportunity of the game as the Canadians picked up the defense from that point. 

Chicago Blackhawks' star Jonathan Toews got things started late in the first period. During a long shift, Los Angeles Kings' Jeff Carter found Toews in front of the net with a nice pass and he deflected in past Lundqvist to make it 1-0. 

After being held goal-less for the Olympics, captain Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) came up huge like he usually does in important games. Swedish defender Jonathan Ericsson (Red Wings) mistakenly tried to stick handle through several defenders at the blue line, which led to a turnover. Crosby stole the puck from Ericsson with a quick stick to give himself a breakaway and finished it with a wicked backhander. 

In the final period, Crosby's Penguins teammate, Chris Kunitz, added another insurance goal and his first tally in Sochi. Following another bad turnover by Sweden, Kunitz beat Lundqvist top shelf on the shortside for a 3-0 lead and that would be the final score. 

Unsurprisingly, Canada proved once again they are the cream of the crop in hockey as they completed the sweep for the second straight Olympics in hockey. The Canadians pick up their ninth men's hockey gold medal, which is the most in Olympic history.

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