CANADA FINISHES 4th AT 2018 IIHF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Canada’s National Men’s Team closed out the 2018 IIHF World Championship with a 4-1 defeat by the United States in Sunday’s bronze-medal game.
With the loss, Canada finishes in fourth place and out of the medal standings for the first time since 2014. Canada was on pace for four consecutive medal finishes; the last time they accomplished that feat was 1994-1997 when they won two gold, a silver, and a bronze.
The game was scoreless after the opening period and the Americans took the lead in second. Canada finally found the back of the net in the final minutes of the second frame when Marc-Édouard Vlasic (Montreal/San Jose, NHL) pulled the red-and-white even. The Canadians ran into penalty trouble and were shorthanded seven times in the game allowing the U.S. to capitalize on two of those opportunities. Curtis McElhinney (London, Ont./Toronto, NHL), who was making his first start in eight days was outstanding in goal, coming up with one big save after another and stopping 33 of the 35 shots he faced in the game.
“I think we needed more discipline, myself too with a bad penalty late in the game that obviously led to a goal against us. It’s disappointing. We gave them their opportunities and the power plays and it’s something we had to be a lot better at. You give skilled players time with the puck, they’ll create those opportunities and they beat us.” – Ryan O’Reilly, Alternate Captain
In seven preliminary-round games at the world championship, Canada finished third in the Group B standings with a record of 4-1-1-1. Canada defeated Russia in the quarter-final before suffering a semifinal loss to Switzerland.
“It’s an impressive group of young players and it’s a young team when you look at it,” said head coach Bill Peters (Three Hills, Alta./Calgary, NHL). “Some are representing Canada at the men’s level for the first time, but I’m impressed by them through the different stages of the tournament. At different times they rise up and show what they’re about. It’s a real good group, they’ll learn from this and be better moving forward.”
Since 1931, Canada has won the world championship 20 times – not counting the years when the gold-medalist at the Olympic Winter Games was also considered world champion. Canada has also collected 12 silver and six bronze medals in that time span.
The win gives the United States (6-2-0-2/W-OTW-OTL-L) its third bronze medal (2013, 2015, 2018) and fourth top-four finish in six IIHF Men’s World Championships, its best stretch since winning three medals in five tournaments it competed in from 1939-1950.