TORONTO (AP) — Brad Marchand scored a short-handed goal with 43.1 seconds left and Canada beat Team Europe 2-1 on Thursday night to win the World Cup of Hockey.
“It’s the biggest stage in the world right now and it’s an incredible honor,” Marchand said.
The Canadians won the best-of-three finals 2-0.
Patrice Bergeron tied it with a power-play goal with 2:53 left in the third, and Marchand won it with a shot from the slot.
Europe seemed as if it had a chance to score late when Drew Doughty was called for high-sticking with just under 2 minutes left, but Canada was the team that took advantage when Marchand got the puck into open space and beat Halak with a shot to win the first World Cup since 2004.
“It’s just crazy the way everything worked out,” said Sidney, selected the MVP of the tournament after scoring three goals and finishing with a World Cup-high 10 points. “When you get a penalty that late in the game, you’re just trying to force overtime.”
Canada has won 16 straight games, including Olympic gold medals at the Sochi and Vancouver Games, since losing to the U.S. in the 2010 Olympics.
“It’s pretty special,” Crosby acknowledged. “It’s not easy to do and for a good chunk of us, a lot of us were there in Russia.”
Carey Price made 32 saves for the Canadians, who started slow before ending the tournament with a furious rally that fired up a once-quiet crowd.
Zdeno Chara scored early for Europe, and Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves for the eight-nation team.
After getting that award, he was presented with a silver World Cup of Hockey trophy and he skated with it around the ice just months after hosting the Stanley Cup for the second time in his career.
He set up the tying goal, passing the puck off the boards to Brent Burns, whose shot just inside the blue line was redirected by Bergeron’s raised stick.
Crosby was stewing after each of the first two periods.
When the game was over, he was sporting an ear-to-ear smile.
The Canadians closed the game in impressive fashion after a lackluster start.
In front of an unenthusiastic crowd and a lot of empty seats in the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Canadians started flat and the Europeans made them pay for their apparent apathy.
Unlike the last two times Canada trailed briefly to the U.S. and Russia, it could not come back against Europe quickly.
It looked as if it wasn’t going to be Canada’s night when John Tavares had a wide-open net to shoot into, but hit the right post from the bottom of the right circle. Earlier in the same shift, the New York Islanders forward missed the net on a one-timer opportunity.
Canada averaged 4.4 goals over the first five games of the tournament, giving Price plenty of support. It didn’t score as much in the final game of the tournament, but two goals were enough to win thanks to Price.
Chara, a Slovakian and Boston Bruins defenseman, scored from the left circle with a wrist shot through traffic two teammates created in front of the net off a short, soft pass from Andrej Sekera in the slot.
Crosby was part of a scrum at the end of the first period in which his helmet was knocked off near Europe’s net at the end of the first period. After the horn sounded to end the second, Crosby lingered on the ice to shot at Swiss defenseman Roman Josi.
Crosby was clearly frustrated, playing with a pair of Boston Bruins, Marchand and Bergeron, who had combined for 22 points through the first five games.
Europe outshot the Canadians 12-8 after the first period and 27-21 after the second.
The Canadians had three power plays over the first two periods and failed to take advantage, falling to 2 for 17 with an extra skater. On one of their power plays, they needed Price to make stops on breakaways.
Canada had a man advantage again early in the third period, but only got one shot on Halak, a Slovak and Islanders standout, on the possibly pivotal power play.
Crosby had a chance to score with 7-plus minutes left, but Halak kicked the shot away with his right skate.
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