2017 IIHF World Championship Report (Medal Day)

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The World Championships are over for another year as the top four in the world have been laid out with the medals handed out on the final day.

The Russians and the Finns headed into the Bronze medal game with a big responsibility to take home at least a medal.

It is a game that always means a lot as the loser has to go home with nothing to show for their efforts while the win can at least save their tournament with a medal.

Although Russia and Finland were expecting more than just the bronze this year they were in the game to take home the medal.

After a rough tournament, the Finns found their way to the medals but they didn’t have much for the dominant Russians.

They fell pretty easily in the game and their comeback from a rough start to the medals ended with them going home without a medal.

The bronze was a decent consolation prize for the Russians but not exactly what they wanted as they have now been held without a gold for three straight years which for them is not normal.

Instead of the Russians going for gold it was the Canadians and the Swedes with the Canadians heading into the final game looking like the clear favourites.

They were looking for their third straight gold medal and having a tournament where they barely stumbled.

It looked like they were on their way to a convincing gold medal win while the Swedes had not been the most consistent throughout the tournament.

They were a good team but they weren’t necessarily a team that was headed to the gold medal game.

Their reinforcements that included Henrik Lundqvist helped them to find their way to the medals and into the gold medal game.

That seemed to be where things would stop though as they had to take on the Canadians and their potent attack.

The Swedes turned out to be a formidable opponent though as they kept things close the entire game not allowing the Canadians to mount a lead.

The first period passed without either team getting the advantage and it wasn’t until late in the second that Sweden final broke through.hockey-sidebar

The Canadians were playing from behind now and they had to find an extra gear to get that third straight gold medal.

They didn’t take long to even the score in the third and the game continued on with both teams getting their chances.

Nothing was solved after three periods though and the overtime did little to change that as the game went to a shootout.

In the shootout, the Swedes scored twice while Lundqvist shut out the Canadians ending their hopes of a three-peat.

The swedes took the gold and not many expected it as they were not the best team throughout the tournament.

That didn’t matter though as they were the best team when it mattered most and as a result, they are now the best team in the world.

If there is one thing that this medal teaches everyone it is that the value of reinforcements in the tournament is immeasurable.

The fact that Sweden welcomed Lundqvist to their team right near the end of the round robin might have been the difference for the team.

They were not a bad team throughout the first part of the round robin but they were not a team that was likely to win a gold medal.

When Lundqvist came in it immediately added one of the best goaltenders in the world to a talented team giving them that extra piece they needed to make a difference.

Lundqvist along with Nicklas Backstrom brought a boost to the Swedes and that boost helped them to the top of the world of hockey.

It was a big win for a team that has struggled to take home any medals in the past few years as their last gold came in 2013 and they were only able to earn a bronze in between.

Their win came at the expense of the Canadians who just didn’t have enough to get their third gold medal in three years.

Runs like that don’t happen too often as there are too many good teams that can win on any given day and the list continues to get bigger.

For now, the Swedes will enjoy their title until next year when they look to defend the gold against plenty of great teams in 2018.

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