SOCHI, Russia — Sidney Crosby skated in alone on Henrik Lundqvist, faking Sweden’s goalie to the ice with a textbook-quality deke and sliding a perfect backhand into the net.
Canada did everything by the book at the Sochi Olympics, winning all six games with a ferocious commitment to defense and discipline. When Canada’s captain finally got his first goal of the games Sunday, it had none of the dramatics of Crosby’s last Olympic goal four years ago in Vancouver.
But it was every bit as golden.
Jonathan Toews scored in the first period, Carey Price made 24 saves in his second consecutive shutout, and Canada defended its Olympic men’s hockey title with a 3-0 victory over Sweden.
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“We’re just an amazing team to watch, the way we work together,” Toews said.
Chris Kunitz also scored as the Canadians confirmed their worldwide dominance in their national game by winning the gold for the third time in the last four Olympics. No team in the NHL era has controlled a tournament like this group, which allowed just three goals in six games and never trailed at any point in the 12-day tournament on the shores of the Black Sea.
“Not quite as dramatic as the other one,” Crosby said. “Just real solid all the way through. We knew the way we wanted to play, and the last couple of games, we were solid. With each game, we seemed to build more and more confidence.”
By the final event of the Sochi Olympics, that confidence was unshakable. Canada became the only repeat Olympic champ in the NHL era and the first team to go unbeaten through the Olympic tournament since the Soviet Union in Sarajevo in 1984.
Canada won its record ninth Olympic hockey gold medal — its first outside North America since 1952 — and joined the women’s team to complete Canada’s second straight Olympic hockey sweep.
While Canada got goals from its two best centers, Sweden had to play without its top three centers. With Henrik Sedin and Henrik Zetterberg already out for the tournament, Nicklas Backstrom was scratched shortly before game time. Swedish Olympic officials said Backstrom had a positive drug test because of an allergy medicine.