Canada rallies to win World Cup of Hockey


Toronto (Canada)—Brad Marchand scored a short-handed goal with 43 seconds left as Canada rallied in the closing minutes to win the World Cup of Hockey 2-1 over Team Europe.
Canada won the best-of-three title series 2-0, after taking game one on Tuesday 3-1.
Marchand’s goal was his fourth in the tournament, an eight-team global showcase that was revived this year after editions in 1996 and 2004.
Marchand’s Boston Bruins teammate Patrice Bergeron scored on a power play to knot the score at 1-1 with less than three minutes to play, thwarting upstart Europe’s bid to take the series to a decisive game three.
“The whole thing has been a bit of a whirlwind,” Marchand said. “When you come into a tournament like this, you’re just trying to take everything in. It’s the biggest stage in the world right now, and to be a part of it is an incredible honor.
“Then to be put on the line with Sid (Crosby) and Bergy is another big honor. A lot of pressure that goes with that, but it’s been an incredible experience every day.”
Team Europe goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves and Europe led most of the night after a first-period goal from another Bruins stalwart, Zdeno Chara.
It wasn’t enough, however, as Canada captain Sidney Crosby was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament, becoming the third player to win NHL MVP, the Conn Smyth as playoff MVP, and World Cup MVP. He joins all-time greats Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr.
Crosby had three goals and seven assists in the tournament, in which Canada went 6-0 en route to the title.
“It’s special,” Crosby said. “I don’t have to look too far to think about how tough it was a year ago, starting out the season, I appreciate this a lot.”
Canada have now won 16 straight games in so-called best-on-best competition.
Their last defeat in a top-flight tournament was to the United States in pool play at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics — where Canada went on to win gold.
Crosby admitted that playing for Canada brought a weight of expectations, but it was one he was happy to shoulder.
“Everyone wants to be playing for Team Canada,” he said. “It’s an unbelievable atmosphere, to play here at home, to be a hockey player playing for Team Canada and be with this group of guys has been a lot of fun.”
Europe made them work to close it out. Chara gave Europe a 1-0 lead at 6:26 of the first period, taking a feed from Andrej Sekera and firing a shot off Canada goalie Carey Price’s arm into the net.
Although Price made 32 saves, it looked like Europe would make the one-goal lead stand up. Crosby said he and his Canada teammates were conscious of trying to avoid a game three.
“Anything can happen in one game,” Crosby said. “The last 10 minutes we were really pressing. We had some really good chances, and regardless of getting the power play or not, I thought we had one good push left in us.” Anze Kopitar, the best penalty killer on a Europe team featuring players from eight different countries, was called for holding Corey Perry with 3:35 left in the third.—AFP

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