Canada won its third straight gold medal at the world junior championship with a 4-2 win over Russia on Friday in Leksand, Sweden. Canada got goals from Andrew Cogliano, Bryan Little, Jonathan Toews and Brad Marchand to overcome the Russians.
"It's unbelievable, a great feeling," Canadian forward Jonathan Toews told TSN. "Tonight was a battle from start to finish. The Russians are a great team but we came out hard and finished hard, too."
The first three goals came in a 2:27 span late in the first period.
Cogliano finished a beautiful passing play with Marc Staal and Ryan O'Marra, one-timing a shot past Semen Varlamov into the Russian net to open the scoring at 15:35.
Less than two minutes later, Little swept in a powerplay goal to give Canada a two-goal cushion.
Thirty-three seconds after that, Toews went upstairs on Varlamov for another powerplay goal to make it 3-0 for Canada.
Marchand made it 4-0 six minutes into the second period, converting a feed from Toews after Steve Downie took a hit to set up the play.
"The guys that we knew could score came through for us tonight," said Canadian coach Craig Hartsburg.
Canada, however, soon got into penalty trouble and that helped the Russians break through.
Pavel Valtenko scored a powerplay goal for Russia at 11:25 of the second period. His point shot appeared to deflect off traffic in front of Carey Price and found the back of the net.
Gennady Churilov scored another powerplay goal late in the second period to bring the Russians within two goals heading into the final frame.
Russia went 2-for-4 on the powerplay in the second period.
The fast-paced game featured several scoring chances for both sides.
Early in the first period, Canadian goalie Carey Price stopped Igor Makarov on a breakaway, with some help from Ryan Parent's speed on the back-check.
Canada's first good chance came with Churilov in the penalty box. The puck came to Sam Gagne on a rebound, but it bounced over his stick in front of a wide open net.
Andrey Kiryukhin's wrap around attempt in the middle of the first period looked dangerous, but was stopped calmly by Price.
Kris Russell helped Price out early in the third period by sweeping the puck from the goal-line after a long shot had slipped through the Canadian goalie's pads.
Kiryukhin got robbed again late in the second period. With Russia on a powerplay, he had Price down and out but found nothing but leather.
Anton Krysanov had a brilliant chance to get Russia within one when he broke in alone on Price while Canada was on a two-man advantage early in the third, but his shot was stopped cold.
"We got that quick start and it made it easier for me to play," said Price, who was named the tournament MVP and its top goaltender.
It is the third straight year, and the sixth time since 1999, that Canada and Russia were playing for gold in this tournament.
Last January in Vancouver, Canada put on a dominating display to win the gold medal with a 5-0 win over the Russians. It was the second straight gold medal win for Canada.
"Winning in Europe is unbelievable," Staal said. "From the start (of the tournament) we just kept it simple. We clogged up the middle, teams got frustrated and turned it over."
Russia beat Canada for gold in 2003, 2002 and 1999.
Both teams were a perfect 4-0 in the round robin portion of the tournament this year. Canada beat the United States 2-1 in a shootout in one semifinal, while Russia beat Sweden 4-2 in the other semifinal.
Earlier today, Erik Johnson scored the game-winner as the United States claimed the bronze medal with a 2-1 victory over Sweden.
Most Valuable Player - Carey Price, G, Canada
Goaltender: Carey Price, Canada
Defencemen: Erik Johnson, U.S., Kristopher Letang, Canada.
Forward: Alexei Cherepanov, Russia; Patrick Kane, U.S.; Jonathan Toews, Canada.
IIHF Best Player Awards
Goaltender: Carey Price, Canada
Defenceman: Erik Johnson, U.S.
Forward: Alexei Cherepanov, Russia