Four Avs, team Canada earn World Championship gold

Team Canada – anchored by four members of the Colorado Avalanche – displayed their dominance over the hockey world by destroying the competition at the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships in the Czech Republic. Canada put the cherry on top of a perfect tournament with a 6-1 blowout win over Russia in the gold medal game on Sunday.

The World Championship title is Canada’s first since 2007 and their 25th all time. The star-studded tournament favorites went undefeated while posting a ridiculous 66 goals in 10 tournament games. No NHL team had as many gold-medal winners as the Avs did with four – Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, Nathan MacKinnon, and Tyson Barrie.

Duchene was impressive in his fourth World Championships representing Canada. The 24-year-old finished the tournament third in scoring with four goals and eight assists for 12 points. He had four-point games in wins over Austria and Germany. Before this year, Duchene only had 12 points total in his three previous tournament appearances.

O’Reilly kept pace with Duchene as he had a breakout performance of his own on the international scene. The Clinton, Ontario native registered 11 points and led all players in the tournament with nine assists – including one in the gold medal game.

MacKinnon wasn’t far behind his veteran teammates and appears to be completely recovered from the foot injury that ended his 2014-15 season early. The 19-year-old potted four goals and nine points in his second World Championships. He buried a goal in Sunday’s gold medal game victory over Russia.

Barrie was making his tournament debut along Canada’s stacked blueline. The offensive defenseman scored a goal and five assists. His plus-12 rating was the fifth best in the tournament.

With Canada’s win, Sydney Crosby joined the Triple Gold Club as the eighth Canadian to win a Stanley Cup, a World Championship gold medal, and an Olympic gold medal.

Zach Redmond and Team USA also earned a medal with a win on Sunday – defeating the Czech Republic 3-0 in the bronze medal game. USA had previously lost 4-0 to Russia in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Canada beat the Czech Republic 2-0 in their quarterfinal game. Islanders center Brock Nelson led team USA with six goals and 10 points.

The bronze medal game featured two Avs’ defenseman going head-to-head in Redmond and the Czech Republic’s Jan Hejda.

Redmond, making his team USA debut, scored one assist with a plus-2 rating in six games. The Houston, Texas native played sparingly as the team’s seventh defenseman. He logged just under nine minutes in the bronze medal game.

Hejda – an impending unrestricted free agent – was named the host nation’s alternate captain before the World Championships got underway. The 36-year-old finished the tournament with two assists and a plus-2 rating, although he was minus-2 against USA in the bronze medal game. The Avalanche will have to decide if they want to bring the veteran blueliner back with a contract this offseason.


Nathan is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached on Twitter at @TheRealNatron.


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