For the second time at the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, the U.S. men’s ice hockey team defeated its northern rival, but Sunday it meant a lot more than the win in the opening game of the tournament.
Chris Kreider scored two goals, Nick Bonino notched what would be the game-winner with 6:39 left in regulation to break open a tie game and goaltender Keith Kinkaid made 26 saves as the U.S. won the bronze medal with a 4-1 victory over Canada in Copenhagen, Denmark.
This is the first medal at the tournament for the Americans since 2015, when they also won bronze.
The bronze-medal game set up a rematch of the May 4 opening game of the tournament in which the U.S. defeated Canada, the defending silver medalist, in a shootout 5-4, with Cam Atkinson scoring both goals of the shootout and Kinkaid making 40 total saves. Both teams were hoping the second face-off would come in the gold-medal game, but after undefeated Sweden ousted the U.S. and Switzerland stunned favored Canada in the semifinals the two rivals were left to compete for third.
The first period was scoreless, but early in the second, the U.S. capitalized on Canada’s fourth penalty of the game to strike first. Kreider scored the power-play goal 6:40 into the second to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Canada tied it with 1:54 remaining in the period and the two teams went to the third deadlocked.
Just as it seemed this one might go to overtime as well, Bonino scored to give Team USA a 2-1 lead with 6:39 remaining and then in the final minutes, with Canada’s net empty, Anders Lee and Kreider both piled on to make it 4-1. Lee’s goal came with 2:15 remaining and Kreider’s with 1:42 left.
Team USA ended the 10-game tournament with an astounding eight wins, falling to Finland in preliminary play and Sweden in the semis.