World Championships 2007 Gold Medal Game

Sunday, 13th May 2007

Jim 'Tambo' Piper gives us his match report on the Gold Medal Game from the IIHF World Championships.


The final sees a match up between the most successful team in WC history against the bridesmaids of World Hockey. Canada has won 23 gold medals in this championship and won 4 out of 6 finals since 1992 when the competition adopted its current format. Finland have won just one, in 1995.

The game started evenly with some neat stick handling by both sides. Canada went on the powerplay at 6:17 when Soderholm went to the box and within 13 seconds the North Americans had the lead. Rick Nash came in from the right face off circle and hit a neat shot inside the left hand post. Canada had a good chance to go two goals up when Nash and Chimera broke on a two on one play but Laamanen just managed to poke the puck to safety. A second powerplay to Canada at 12:17 again proved decisive just over a minute later as Cammalleri picked up the puck on a turnover on the Finnish blue line , moved over the red and passed to Eric Staal who beat Lehtonen from close range. A late powerplay to Finland resulted in Kallio just missing with a tip towards Ward’s goal. End of 1st and an even game but for the two powerplay marks for Canada.

Finland continued to fall foul of the referee in the early stages of the second. Firstly Saravo went to the box on an interference call and thirty seconds later they were two men down as Aki Petteri Berg went for hooking. Canada played the puck around but Lehtonen made a couple of good saves to keep the score at 2. Unfortunately he was at fault for the Canadian third goal. At 29:11, Armstrong skated down the left wing and hooked a shot on goal that sneaked under Lehtonen’s left arm. For the rest of the period, Canada kept Finland outside their defensive zone , controlling the puck when necessary and generally marshalling the game. Nash had one more chance in the period to add to the score but Lehtonen made a good stretch save to keep the puck out. End of 2nd Canada 3 Finland 0.

The first half of the final period was again controlled by the Canadians, who just calmly went about their business, putting pressure on Finland around centre ice, thus not allowing the generation of any offence at all. The Finns finally woke up and did come up with some offence and scored at 51:08. Canada were slow to react to a Finnish surge and Kontiolla smacked a loose puck past Ward on the gloveside. Things became very interesting at 17:44 when Finland grabbed a second goal. It was another ugly goal as Miettinen hit a loos puck into the net with Ward stranded at the other side of his net. Any chance of a surprise comeback was well and truly scotched when player of the tournament Rick Nash scored a superb breakaway solo goal. He picked the pocket of Pekka Saravo and raced towards goal, deking Lehtonen to score as he was being hauled down. Superb goal from a great player. That ended the scoring and Canada had won gold, winning 4-2

This was Canada’s 23rd World Hockey medal and they hold four of the five major world titles…. World Champions, World Junior Champions, World Women’s and Olympic women’s …. Only the Olympic men’s title evades them.Finland go home again with a silver , for the fourth time.

After the ceremony IIHF announced the awards for the competiton and they were as follows:

Tournament’s Most Valuable Player Rick Nash ( Canada)

Best Goalie Kari Lehtonen ( Finland)

Best Defenseman Andrei Markov ( Russia)

Best Forward Alexei Morozov ( Russia )

The media all star team is as follows:

Goal: Kari Lehtonen ( Finland)

Defence: Petteri Nummelin ( Finland) and Andrei Markov ( Russia)

Forward: Alexei Morozov ( Russia) Evgeni Malkin ( Russia)

Rick Nash ( Canada)

An excellent tournament with Canada deserved winners, Russia must be kicking themselves for one seconds lapse of concentration against Finland. The results put Canada up to 2nd in the world rankings just behind Olympic Champions Sweden.

That’s it for this year, will report on Canada 2008 next season, hopefully from the back row in Quebec.