Canada wins World Cup of Hockey
TORONTO (CP) – Shane Doan scored in the third period as Canada defeated Finland 3-2 on Tuesday night to add the World Cup of Hockey to its string of recent international triumphs.
Doan’s goal 34 seconds into the third period stood up behind superb goaltending from Martin Brodeur as Canada ended the eight-team tournament with a perfect 6-0 record.
“That was pretty special, it’s something I’m never going to forget,” said Doan. “It was incredible, this whole experience has been incredible. It’s a dream to score that goal.”
Canada, which only a few years ago feared it had slipped a notch in the hockey world, now holds the 2002 Olympic gold medal, two consecutive IIHF world championship gold medals and the World Cup.
“This was an amazing group of players,” Team Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky said.
Vincent Lecavalier, one of the young players who led Canada in this World Cup, was named tournament MVP.
“With all the young players, we have a great future here in Canada,” Joe Sakic told CBC. “It’s nice to win some tournaments. …
“It’s just awesome to be a part of this.”
Sakic and Riku Hahl traded goals in the opening period and Scott Niedermayer put Canada ahead 3:13 into the second.
A spectacular goal by Tuomo Ruutu with one minute left in the second period sent the teams into the final frame at 2-2, but Doan broke the deadlock on the first shift of the final period when he banged a pass from Joe Thornton past Miikka Kiprusoff.
“Kipper didn’t play his best game, our defence didn’t help either,” said Finnish coach Raimo Summanen. “I’m proud of the spirit and the attitude on our team.”
It may have been the last top-level hockey available for a long time, as the NHL was set to lock out its players at midnight Wednesday unless a last-minute agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.
The checking line of Doan, Thornton and Kris Draper had a huge night, producing two goals and tying up Finland’s big line of Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne and Jere Lehtinen.
“It was a total team effort and I’m so proud of the guys,” said Thornton. “It was four great weeks of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
The Finns played a strong forechecking game and several times had Canada boxed in its zone, but the home side responded with a robust checking game of its own.
The difference may have been in goal.
A chanting, sellout crowd of 19,370 saw Brodeur shine in his return to the net after missing a game with a wrist injury. He had the edge on Kiprusoff as Canada outshot Finland 33-29.
“I felt great, my wrist didn’t bother me at all,” said Brodeur.
It looked like Canada may have an easy night when Sakic scored only 52 seconds into the game, taking a feed in the slot from Mario Lemieux and scoring on the first shot on goal.
But a tenacious Finland forecheck had Canada running around in its zone when Hahl tipped Toni Lydman’s point shot past Brodeur to tie the game at 6:34.
Niedermayer put Canada ahead on a routine shot during a rush down the left side that dribbled through Kiprusoff’s pads.
But at the 19:00 mark, Ruutu chipped the puck free in the neutral zone, sidestepped a hit by Simon Gagne and blew past Niedermayer to beat Brodeur with a shot just inside the post.
It was the first time in the tournament Brodeur allowed more than one goal in a game.
Spirited checking helped Canada open the third period by keeping the puck in the Finland zone and Thornton flipped a pass out in front for Doan to score his first of the tournament.
Finland was seeking its first ever hockey win in a best-on-best tournament. Its last major title was at the 1995 IIHF world championships.
The winning team got $1 million, to be split equally between Hockey Canada and the players, who are to donate the money to a charity of their choice.
Canada also continued the Lucky Loonie tradition, this time with a twist. Instead of burying a loonie in the ice at centre or under a crossbar, six of the coins were taped under the Canadian bench, one for each of the team’s wins at the World Cup.
Canada wins World Cup of Hockey