On Thursday night, Team Canada took home the World Cup of Hockey (WCH) 2016 Championship trophy after a thrilling, late-game comeback. The final score was 2-1 in favor of the Canadians over Team Europe.
The two teams met for the first of a possible three-game series on Tuesday night with Canada winning 3-1 in that match. It then became do-or-die for Team Europe as the second game approached.
Europe took a 1-0 lead in the first period of Thursday’s game with a goal from defenseman Zdeno Chara. It would remain that way for some time. With just about three minutes remaining in the game, Team Europe took a penalty which would prove to be their downfall. Canada’s Patrice Bergeron evened up the score with just 2:53 left after deflecting the puck past Europe’s goaltender Jaroslav Halak. Canada’s goal brought the crowd back to life and it wasn’t over yet.
Special teams proved to be the deciding factor in the game as Europe went on the power play with just 1:50 left in the game. Forward Mikkel Boedker rang a shot off the post behind Canadian goaltender Carey Price which would be one of Europe’s last big scoring chances. Then, with 44 seconds left in regulation, Brad Marchand broke the tie for Team Canada. Air Canada Centre erupted as the Canadians took the lead.
With the sound of the final buzzer, Team Europe’s improbable run in the WCH was over. Canada claimed the championship and started the celebration. Now, in just a couple more weeks, players will return to their respected clubs and the NHL season will get underway.