Canada became the first nation to win back-to-back gold medals in Olympic men's ice hockey in 22 years by defeating Sweden 3-0 today at the Sochi Games.
The victory gave Canada a sweep of the hockey medals. Three days ago, the Canadian women beat the U.S. 3-2 in overtime to capture the championship.
Canada, which won its record ninth Olympic title, is the first nation to retain its gold medal since the Soviet Union won three straight in 1984, 1988 and 1992. In the last of those Olympics, it was playing as the Unified Team.
"We were just deeper than every team in the tournament," said Canada forward Matt Duchene, who plays for the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche. "We dominated the whole tournament."
Sweden, which won the gold medal in 2006, was trying to become the first reigning world champion to also win an Olympic crown in 30 years.
Canadian goalie Carey Price stopped 24 shots for his second straight shutout. Price, who is with the NHL's Montreal Canadiens, held the U.S. scoreless in a 1-0 semifinal victory two nights ago.
"I'm just ecstatic, I'm tired," Price told reporters. "This could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I'm honored to be a part of this."
Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz scored for Canada. Toews, of the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, scored on a deflection with just more than seven minutes left in the first period. Crosby, of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, added his goal on a breakaway with four minutes, 17 seconds left in the second period.
In the third, Kunitz stole possession just outside the Swedish blue line, moved into the zone and sent a wrist shot above the shoulder of goalie Henrik Lundqvist of the NHL's New York Rangers. Kunitz is on the Penguins.
"It's a big disappointment," Lundqvist said. "I think Canada definitely deserved to win today, they were the better team."
Canada went 6-0 in Sochi, becoming the first undefeated Olympic men's hockey champion since the Soviets took gold at the 1984 Sarajevo Games.
The victory extended Canada's domination of the Swedes at the Olympics. The Canadians have 13 victories in 17 games, with three Swedish wins and a tie, though one of those Swedish victories came in their previous gold-medal encounter.
At the 1994 Lillehammer Games, Sweden's Magnus Svensson tied the game in the final two minutes of the third period and it went to a penalty shootout in which 20-year-old Peter Forsberg scored the winner -- a goal that was commemorated on a Swedish postage stamp.
Today's win gave Canada its first gold medal in a Winter Games outside North America in 62 years, since it triumphed in the 1952 Oslo Olympics.
The game, played at 4 p.m. in Sochi, led to an early Sunday morning for fans throughout Canada -- where the contest was shown live at 7 a.m. in eastern cities such as Toronto and Montreal and at 4 a.m. in the west, including Vancouver.
Toronto's city council approved a change to liquor laws for the game, allowing bars and cafes in most of the city to serve alcohol at 6 a.m. -- one hour before the first puck was dropped.
Since it was on a weekend, the game did not affect markets. Two days earlier, during Canada's semifinal defeat of the U.S., trading volume during a one-hour span in the middle of the game on the Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index, Canada's benchmark equity gauge, was 29 percent lower than the 5-day average before the Olympics started.
"I think any time Canada puts on this jersey there's pressure to win," forward Rick Nash, who plays for the Rangers, said before the game. "The only thing that we expect as a country is a gold medal. No matter what, there's always pressure on Canada in hockey."
Finland won the bronze medal a day earlier, defeating the U.S. 5-0. The Finns, who now have won a men's hockey medal in five of the last six Winter Games, got two goals from 43-year- old Teemu Selanne -- who was playing in his sixth Olympics.
Today's final was the first transcontinental gold-medal game in men's hockey since NHL players joined the Olympics in 1998 -- the previous four finals were either all-European or all-North American.