Sweden wins world hockey title; Patrick Kane named tournament MVP

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Sweden capped a victorious run through the world men’s hockey championship by edging Switzerland 3-2 on Sunday in the final after a penalty shootout to successfully defend its title.

Forward Filip Forsberg scored the decisive goal in the shootout to give Sweden a third world title in six years, and 11th overall. Earlier Sunday, the U.S. topped Canada 4-1 to claim its third bronze medal in six years (but no standalone world title since 1933), with captain Patrick Kane becoming the first American to take MVP honors in tournament history.

Sweden won all 10 matches at the tournament.

“We wanted to win the gold medal, and here we are,” Sweden forward Viktor Arvidsson said. “It’s unbelievable, especially for Filip. He’s a great player, one of our top players. It’s unbelievable to win with my teammates.”

Arvidsson, together with Nashville Predators teammates Forsberg and defenseman Mattias Ekholm, joined the Swedish team during the tournament after the Predators were eliminated from the NHL playoffs.

“We had the puck a lot,” Arvidsson said. “They did a great job defending.”

Sweden outshot Switzerland 38-27 as the Swiss finished runners-up for the third time after 2013 and 1935. Switzerland has never won.

“We battled hard … all the tournament long,” Switzerland defenseman Mirco Muller said. “Once you look at the bigger picture, it’s huge for Swiss hockey. But right now, there’s a disappointment. We definitely had our chances.”

Switzerland stunned Canada 3-2 in the semifinals after a 3-2 upset against Finland in the quarterfinals.

“They were close to winning the whole championship. So, credit to them,” Sweden forward Magnus Paajarvi said.

Gustav Nyquist wristed a shot from the slot high past Leonardo Genoni for Sweden to answer the Swiss opening goal by Nino Niederreiter.

Timo Meier scored a second period power-play goal past Vancouver Canucks goalie Anders Nilsson to restore the one-goal advantage for Switzerland in the second.

Mika Zibanejad equalized on a power play from the point, forcing a scoreless 20-minute overtime. The Arizona Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Forsberg scored for Sweden in the first four rounds of the shootout, while the Swiss missed on four straight tries after the Colorado Avalanche’s Sven Andrighetto beat Nilsson in the first round.

In the bronze-medal game, Chris Kreider led the U.S. with two goals.

Forward Nick Bonino scored the winner on a rebound during a power play in the final period. Anders Lee and Kreider added empty-net insurance goals for the U.S., whose roster was made up entirely of NHL players save one.

“It’s important for the team, but it’s also important for USA Hockey,” Kane said. “Now, we can build up off this level and try to keep being better and better.”

Kane had an assist in the game to finish the tournament with 20 points — eight goals and 12 assists — the first player to do so since 2008. The two-time Olympian broke U.S. records for most assists and most points at a single worlds.

“Obviously I’m here to produce and try to create offense and make plays out there,” Kane said. “Overall, I’m happy … it was a fun tournament and a great experience for me and I hope it will help me with my career going forward too.”

Canada failed to earn a medal for the first time since 2014.

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Record-breaking Patrick Kane leads U.S. into hockey worlds semifinals

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Patrick Kane, having already broken U.S. records for points and assists at a world championship, scored two more goals in a 3-2 win over the Czech Republic in Thursday’s quarterfinals in Denmark.

The U.S., whose only standalone world title came in 1933, gets Sweden in Saturday’s semifinals.

Kane, a two-time Olympian and captain of this team, leads the tournament with 19 points and 11 assists. His eight goals are two shy of the U.S. record at a single worlds held by Buzz Johnson from 1950.

The U.S., with all NHL players save one on its roster, reached the final four for the fourth time in six years. The Olympic team made up of non-NHL players lost to the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals in PyeongChang.

The other Saturday semifinal pits Canada, a 5-4 overtime winner over Russia on Thursday, against Switzerland, which upset Finland in the quarterfinals.

The Americans won their first six games for the first time at a standalone worlds (the Olympics doubled as the world championship in Olympic years as recently as 1968). They ended group play with their first loss, 6-2 to Finland, on Tuesday.

The U.S. is trying to earn its first world title since 1960, when the Olympics doubled as worlds, and third medal in six years. Kane headlines a roster that also includes NHL All-Stars Johnny GaudreauDylan Larkin and Cam Atkinson.

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U.S. captain, head coach named for men’s hockey world championship

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After an Olympics without NHL players, the U.S. men’s hockey team brought back star power by naming the first member of its world championship team — Patrick Kane, the most accomplished player to suit up for worlds in at least a decade.

Kane, a two-time Olympian and 2010 silver medalist, was named captain for next month’s tournament in Denmark. More roster members are expected to be named later this week.

USA Hockey also named Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill as the world championship head coach, succeeding Olympic coach Tony Granato of the University of Wisconsin.

Kane and Blashill were available as their NHL teams did not make the Stanley Cup playoffs that start this week.

Kane played in one previous world championship — in 2008, following his rookie season with the Chicago Blackhawks when he earned the Calder Trophy. He co-led the U.S. at that world championship with 10 points.

Several players have gone more than 10 years between world championship appearances for the U.S., including Hockey Hall of Famers Mike Modano (12 years) and Phil Housley (11 years). Kane is the most accomplished American on a world championship team since Modano’s last appearance in 2005.

Blashill, coming off his third season guiding the Red Wings, was also head coach at 2017 Worlds, where the U.S. lost to Finland in the quarterfinals.

Blashill’s assistants are 2014 Olympic head coach Dan BylsmaDon Granato (Tony’s brother and Blackhawks assistant), and Seth Appert.

The U.S. last won worlds in 1960.

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