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Toews Leads Canada To Surgical 3-0 Win Over Sweden, Gold Medal

In the end, it wasn’t even fair. Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz scored and Carey Price made 24 saves to get the shutout as Canada beat Sweden 3-0 on Sunday morning and won gold in Sochi.

With the win, Team Canada earned its second straight Olympic gold medal in men’s ice hockey and its third in the past four Olympics.

Carey Price.

Carey Price.

Price played very well, but despite his remarkable goaltending numbers, it was the Team Canada defense that was truly magnificent. In the end, Price allowed only three goals in five games and went nearly 165 minutes without allowing a goal. Price went five days without allowing a goal. He shut out the United States 1-0 in the semifinal and then Sweden 3-0 in the gold medal game.

But he really wasn’t tested over the last 120 minutes. The defensive group of Duncan Keith (who was absolutely sensational for the entire tournament), Shea Weber (who might have been better), Drew Doughty (who might have been even better), Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo were splendid on Sunday. If Price stopped a shot and didn’t smother it, the rebound was always cleared out of harm’s way. The Swedes didn’t get more than three decent scoring chances and there was never any sense they might score a goal.

Meanwhile, the Canadian forwards always peeled back. It was a clinic in proper backchecking. And in the gold medal game, turnovers created by Team Canada, led to all three goals.

They say defense wins championships and Canada was clearly the best defensive team in the tournament. The Canadians allowed only four goals in six games. In the medal round, the Canadians played their last eight periods without giving up a goal. Canada did not trail in any game of the tournament for one second. Price, the first First Nation’s person to win an Olympic gold medal in hockey in the NHL era, finished with a .973 save percentage. That’s a stratospheric number that is beyond words.

Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews

For Winnipeg’s Toews, it was his second straight Olympic gold medal. He told reporters in Sochi after the game that he wasn’t sure where he’d put this one. His mom and dad here in Winnipeg have the first one from 2010.

“Maybe I’ll hang ’em up together,” he said

Although he is not yet 26-years-old, he has won two Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals, two World Junior Championships and one IIHF World Senior Championship. Put him in the Hall of Fame right now.

“I think every time you get the chance,” Toews told The Canadian Press, “there’s still that feeling of nerves that you don’t want to pass up the chance to win. You want to do it again. You never know how many chances you’re going to get so you want to do the best you can to bring it home. I’m just lucky to be part of these teams that want to win as bad as I do.”

Meanwhile, after the Canadian team was awarded its gold medal, Team Canada executive director Steve Yzerman said he would not continue through the next Olympiad. That gave more fuel to the rumour that the NHL is not likely to participate in the next Winter Games in Pyeonchang in 2018.

Golden!

Golden!

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