After an exciting Gold Medal game that saw Finland and Canada battle into overtime, Team Finland was able to pull away with the win and the Gold Medal on home ice at this year’s IIHF World Championship. Forward Sakari Manninen scored the golden goal winner on the powerplay in the first overtime period. Finland’s victory was not without drama, however, as several officiating decisions were called into question, chief among them was an apparent phantom high-sticking penalty on Team Canada’s Cole Sillinger in the third period. After the call on Sillinger, Finland was put on a 5-on-3 powerplay, where they would score twice, taking a 3-1 lead. Canada would come back however, tying the game at three and forcing overtime.
Goaltender Jussi Olkinuora of Finalnd was named the tournament’s MVP following the game. The entire Tournament All Star Team, as selected by the media, includes: Olkinuora (G, FIN), Seth Jones (D, USA), Mikko Lehtonen (D, FIN), Pierre-Luc Dubois (F, CAN), Roman Cervenka (F, CZE), and Manninen (F, FIN).
Also medaling was team Czechia, who took Bronze, defeating the United States handedly earlier today 8-4, highlighted by a David Pastrnak hat trick. Leading the way for Czechia, and the entire tournament, was Cervenka, who’s 17 points lead the entire tournament.
Several high-profile prospects in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft also represented their countries in the tournament, most notably Austria’s Marco Kasper, Czechia’s David Jiricek, and a haul of prospect talent from Slovakia, including Simon Nemec, Juraj Slafkovsky, and Adam Sykora. Perhaps the most standout among them was Slafkovsky, a projected top pick in the draft, who continued his Olympic dominance into the IIHF tournament, where he posted nine points over eight games, an impressive mark for an 18-year-old playing amongst men, many of whom are NHL veterans.
Another milestone was notched with Finland securing Gold, as Valtteri Filppula became the first Finnish player to join the triple-Gold club, including a Stanley Cup, an Olympic Gold Medal, and an IIHF World Championship Gold Medal.