PRAGUE (Reuters) - Canada won the world ice hockey championship on Sunday with a dominating 6-1 win over Russia as three quick-fire second-period goals helped the team filled with NHL stars finish the tournament undefeated.
Canada, which conceded only one goal in the knockout round. won their first world championship since 2007.
The Canadians outshot the defending champions 37-12 and limited opportunities with the kind of defense that led them to gold at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
The North Americans started fast and forced Russian goalkeeper Sergei Bobrovsky into a number of saves before Cody Eakin redirected an acrobatic Tyler Ennis shot into the net late in the first period.
“Everyone was so focused going into the tournament,” defenseman Ryan O’Reilly said. “Having that goal going into intermission gave us life and confidence.”
Ennis extended the lead less than two minutes into the second period when he skated in behind the goal and wrapped the puck into the net.
Canada continued to create scoring chances with captain Sidney Crosby giving the North Americans a 3-0 lead when he tapped in a Jordan Eberle pass. Less than a minute later Taylor Seguin beat Bobrovsky, forcing Russia to use a time out to try to regroup.
“There was incredible determination,” Ennis said. “We wanted to win because Canada did not win in a long time.”
The Russians tried to get back on track but a string of penalties in the final two periods often left them a man down against a team that set a tournament scoring record by netting 66 goals in 10 games.
“They had a very strong team,” Viktor Tikhonov said. “They had very technical players that could use their speed and technique.”
Claude Giroux added a power-play goal midway through the final period when he slapped a Crosby pass into the net. Nathan MacKinnon rounded out the scoring for Canada a minute later while a late Evgeni Malkin goal made the final score 6-1.
Earlier, the United States defeated tournament hosts Czech Republic 3-0 to take the bronze medal in what might have been Czech star Jaromir Jagr’s last game with the national team.
The 43-year-old forward was voted the most valuable player of the tournament after coming out of international retirement to play.
“I’m glad I did it, even if we didn’t win a medal,” Jagr said. “It was something special.”
Editing by Gene Cherry