By Dmitriy Rogovitskiy
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Canada deservedly beat Finland 2-0 in the final of the world ice hockey championship on Sunday to become the first country since Russia in 2009 to retain the title.
Russia secured the bronze medal by thrashing the United States 7-2 to ensure they have now won a medal at eight of the last 10 world championships.
Canada and the Finns had met earlier in the competition when they battled it out to see who would finish top of Group B. On that occasion Finland thrashed their opponents 4-0 but there was to be no repeat in the final.
This time, Canada were disciplined and managed to keep a lid on Finland's potent offense. One of the youngest players on the ice, Connor McDavid, got the game-winning goal after 11 minutes of the first period.
Finland's much-vaunted offense, which included teenage sensation Patrik Laine, just could not get going and Canada's goaltender Cam Talbot stopped 16 shots for his shut out.
Canada on the other hand peppered Mikko Koskinen's net but they managed to double their lead only with a second left on the clock in the final period. Finland had pulled Koskinen for an extra attacker, which allowed Matt Duchene to score an empty netter and ensure that Canada retained the trophy.
In the bronze-medal game, Sergei Mozyakin scored twice for the hosts, while the impressive Artemi Panarin finished with a goal and two assists. Vadim Shipachyov scored Russia's seventh of the evening to cap an impressive tournament by notching up his 18th point.
"It would have been a good performance for me if we had won the cup," said Shipachyov. "But we didn't, so I can only say I've had an okay tournament."
Despite the final scoreline, the Americans outshot Russia 30-29. After pool loses to Canada, Germany, Finland and Slovakia, the U.S. exceeded expectations to get so far in the tournament.
"We had a game plan," said U.S. captain Matt Hendricks. "We knew what we had to do; we just didn't execute. You have to give Russia a lot of credit. They played a very strong game."
(Editing by Clare Fallon)