COLOGNE, Germany – Canada’s National Men’s Team are coming home with a silver medal after a 2-1 shootout loss to Sweden in Sunday’s gold-medal game at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
A total of eight OHL graduates represented Canada in the tournament while an additional three OHL players also earned medals including one gold medalist with Team Sweden and two bronze medalists with Team Russia.
Canada had to fight back from a one-goal deficit after Sweden scored shorthanded in the final minute of the second period. Ryan O’Reilly (Erie Otters/Buffalo Sabres) pulled the Canadians to even on a powerplay early in the third period, but extra time was needed.
After 20 minutes of overtime, the game went to a five-round shootout where Niklas Backstrom scored the game-winner for the Swedes, while all four Canadian shooters were denied. In goal, Calvin Pickard (Seattle Thunderbirds/Colorado Avalanche) stopped 40 of 41 shots.
“I just want to congratulate Sweden, I thought they were an exceptional team and it was a lot of fun to play them,” said Jon Cooper, Team Canada head coach. “We sat in our locker room and don’t feel like we lost a hockey game tonight, we feel like we lost a shootout. I told our guys: ‘[hold] your head high.’ We knew the rules going in, it was part of the format, and they bested us. I thought both goalies were exceptional, but in the end it came down to a skill competition and they were better than us and they are deserving world champs.”
Canada won its first four contests before an overtime loss to Switzerland, finishing the preliminary round with a 6-0-0-1 record. Canada advanced to the championship game with a stunning come-from-behind, 4-2 semifinal win over Russia.
Team Canada was in position to three-peat for the first time since 1950-52 heading into Sunday’s final, after winning gold at the last two IIHF World Championships by going undefeated during the 2015 tournament, and blanking Finland 2-0 in the gold-medal game in 2016.
Since 1931, Canada has won the world championship 20 times – not counting the years when Olympic Winter Games champions were also considered world champion. The country has also collected 12 silver medals and six bronze in that timespan.
Full game stats and story are available on HockeyCanada.ca
CHL GRADUATES EARNING SILVER WITH CANADA:
Calvin de Haan (Oshawa Generals/New York Islanders)
Matt Duchene (Brampton Battalion/Colorado Avalanche)
Travis Konecny (Sarnia Sting/Philadelphia Flyers)*
Mitch Marner (London Knights/Toronto Maple Leafs)*
Ryan O’Reilly (Erie Otters/Buffalo Sabres)
Mark Scheifele (Barrie Colts/Winnipeg Jets)
Wayne Simmonds (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds/Philadelphia Flyers)
Jeff Skinner (Kitchener Rangers/Carolina Hurricanes)
OHL GRADUATES EARNING GOLD WITH SWEDEN:
Gabriel Landeskog (Kitchener Rangers/Colorado Avalanche)
OHL GRADUATES EARNING BRONZE WITH RUSSIA:
Vladislav Namestnikov (London Knights/Tampa Bay Lightning)
Ivan Telegin (Barrie Colts)
* – played in CHL during the 2015-16 season