Canada has won the gold medal in men’s ice hockey, the last event of the Sochi Winter Olympics. The Canadians beat Sweden 3-0 in the final.
The Canadian men beat Sweden in Sunday's final 3-0 to defend the gold medal they had won on home ice in Vancouver four years ago. Sweden skated off with the silver medal, while Finland, who defeated the United States 5-0 on Saturday, took bronze.
The Canadians, who had defeated the Americans 1-0 to get to the gold-medal game, got out to a first period lead 13 minutes into the contest, when Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Black Hawks tipped a pass from Jeff Carter between the legs of Swedish netminder Henrik Lundqvist.
The captain, Sidney Crosby, who scored the gold-medal-winning goal against the US in Vancouver in 2010, added to Canada's lead in the second period, deking Lundqvist have being sent in all alone on a breakaway.
Crosby's team-mate on the Pittsburgh Penguins put the Canadians truly in the driver's seat in the third period, making it 3-0 with an unassisted marker. Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price recorded the shut-out.
While the Swedes had kept it close through the first two periods, the Canadians opened up a wide advantage in the third, and by the end of the game they had outshot the Swedes 36-24.
A decision by hockey's world governing body, the IIHF, to assign three Canadian citizens and one Canadian resident to officiate the game had been criticized by some prior to the contest, however a clear result and lack of close calls during the game shielded the referees and linesmen from any real controversy.
This was the first time that Canada has won the gold medal in hockey outside of North America since 1952 in Oslo. It was also the first time that any team has defended its gold medal since the Soviet Union and Unified team won three consecutive Olympic tournaments between 1984 and 1992.
Last tournament of its kind?
There has been much speculation that this may have been the last tournament of this quality for the foreseeable future, as the world's top professional league, the North America-based National Hockey League (NHL) has expressed reluctance about sending its players to future Olympic tournaments. Since the 1998 Nagano Games, the NHL has shut down for two weeks for every Olympic tournament, in order to allow the world's best players to take part. The NHL has not yet decided whether it will do so for the next games in Pyeongchang, South Korea in four years' time.