The IIHF World Championships have come to a close, and a good portion of Carolina Hurricanes representatives are leaving with a smile on their face.
Sweden won their gold medal game over Canada by a final score of 2-1 in a shootout on Sunday, and the excitement from that group of players was a joy to watch.
Congrats to Team Sweden on winning gold at the World Hockey Championship pic.twitter.com/PA9T9RGT4r— Everything Hockey (@EHClothing) May 21, 2017
The Swedes proved throughout the tournament that they were the favorite to win it all, and they certainly came through when it mattered most, on the backs of Henrik Lundqvist, William Nylander, Nicklas Backstrom, and several familiar faces in Carolina.
Elias Lindholm and Victor Rask were impact players for the Swedes. The duo finished tied for second on the team with seven points. Lindholm netted five goals and Rask had five helpers.
Joakim Nordstrom played in their bottom-six, tallying three points in nine games, including a goal against Finland to help send them to the gold medal game.
In net, Eddie Lack saw just one game, serving as the backup to Viktor Fasth before Lundqvist joined the team, but he made it count. He posted a 19-save shutout against Latvia in the preliminary round.
Canada was led to a silver medal by their group of young players, but among one of the elder statesmen of that roster was Jeff Skinner, who dazzled at times in the tournament.
Skinner had nine points in ten games, finishing behind only Nathan MacKinnon and Mitchell Marner for the Canadians. He also got ejected from a game for poking a goalie, but one could argue that it was a pretty ludicrous decision by the officiating crew.
This is a game misconduct for Jeff Skinnerpic.twitter.com/UHULfG6ZId— NHL Hurricanes Stats (@NHLCanesStats) May 11, 2017
Sebastian Aho’s Finnish team lost to Russia in the bronze medal game, which served as a disappointing end to a very frustrating tournament for the Finns, who couldn't seem to get much going offensively in the second half of their run.
Aho did have a strong showing, netting nine assists and 11 points. He finished atop Finland's scorers and ninth overall in the tournament
The U.S. fell just short of a medal opportunity after getting ousted by Finland on Thursday. Noah Hanifin was a constant presence in the Americans’ top-four, seeing a lot of time alongside Winnipeg’s Jaccob Trouba, and as a powerplay quarterback, a role in which he did very well. Hanifin finished with two assists in eight games.
It was an impressive showing from Hurricanes players at the World Championships, and it should only add to the excitement heading into what should be a breakout season for the team in 2017-18.