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Canada beats Sweden for hockey gold

SOCHI, Russia – Sidney Crosby again proved that he’s a big-time, big-game scorer.

Crosby, held without a goal in Canada’s first five games at the Sochi Olympics hockey tournament, scored on a breakaway in the second period of Sunday’s gold-medal game against Sweden to cement Canada’s 3-0 victory at the Bolshoy Ice dome and clinch its second consecutive Olympic title.

Crosby scored the “golden goal” at Vancouver in 2010, scoring in overtime against the U.S. This time, Canada didn’t need to go to sudden-death play to become the first repeat men’s Olympic champion since Soviet Union teams won in 1984 and 1988.

Jonathan Toews scored in the first period – set up by forward Jeff Carter – and Crosby extended the lead to 2-0 in the second. Chris Kunitz added an insurance goal in the third, after a giveaway by Sweden’s Daniel Sedin.

Goaltender Carey Price of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens stopped 24 shots Sunday to earn his second straight shutout for Canada, which had thoroughly outplayed the U.S. in a 1-0 semifinal victory.

Eleven players on Team Canada became two-time gold medalists.

Canada got better game by game in Sochi, the goal stated by just about every player and coach in this tournament but one that only coach Mike Babcock – who coached the Spokane Chiefs for six seasons (1994-2000) – and his players could pull off. That helped the Canadian men win their first gold medal outside of North America since the 1952 Oslo Games.

Canada allowed only three goals in defeating Norway, Austria, Finland, Latvia, the U.S. and previously unbeaten Sweden.

The Swedes, depleted by injuries, lost center Nicklas Backstrom from their lineup shortly before the game. He failed a doping test for pseudoephredrine, a substance found in an allergy medication.

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