With its 5-1 victory over Switzerland on Sunday, Sweden claimed its first gold medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship since 2006. The Swedes won the title in front of a loud home crowd in Stockholm with many NHL players making significant contributions, including Vancouver Canucks star Henrik Sedin, who scored twice in the final.
Switzerland's loss ended its Cinderella story of a tournament, after going an impressive 9-0 in championship play before the final. The silver medal is the country's first medal of any color at the World Championship since 1953, which was also a silver. This tournament should be remembered as a significant step forward for Swtizerland's hockey program.
The Swiss got the scoring started in the gold-medal game, when Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi snuck a shot past Jhonas Enroth just 4:45 into the game. It was all Sweden after that, however.
Just under two minutes later, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Erik Gustafsson knotted the score for Sweden. Shortly after, Sedin grabbed a loose puck and put a shot up and over former NHL goaltender Martin Gerber to make it 2-1.
The game remained close, as neither team managed to score in the second period.
Despite many chances early in the third period to tie the game, Switzerland couldn't solve Enroth, who was later named the tournament's top goaltender by the World Championship directorate.
Simon Hjalmarsson made it 3-1 after poking a rebound past Gerber, then Loui Eriksson put the game out of reach after Sedin's pass redirected off Eriksson's skate and in. Sedin added a long empty-net goal to make it 5-1 and leave no doubt.
Sweden became the first team since 1986 to win the World Championship on home ice, according to the IIHF.
Josi, who led all defensemen in the tournament with nine points, was named the World Championship's best defenseman and most valuable player. Finland's Petri Kontiola, who led the tournament with 16 points, was named the tournament's best forward.
Colorado Avalanche forward Paul Stastny, the U.S. captain, joined Switzerland's Josi and Julien Vauclair, Sweden's Enroth and Henrik Sedin, and Finland's Kontiola on the all-tournament team.
The next major international event in men's hockey is the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The IIHF, International Olympic Committee, NHL and NHLPA are still working torward finalizing an agreement that will allow NHL players to participate.