For the third IIHF World Hockey Championship in a row, a Detroit Red Wings player is guaranteed to go home with a medal. For the second time in three years, Wings players are in position to grab multiple medals.
Rebounding from an 0-3 start to the tourney, Canada advanced to the gold-medal game for the second straight year thanks to a 4-2 semifinal victory over the United States.
Canada, coached by former Wings forward Gerard Gallant, is relying heavily on Detroit defenseman Troy Stecher and he is delivering the goods. Against the USA, Stecher skated a game-high 28:32. He and Michigan Wolverines defenseman Owen Power (27:51), expected to be the first overall pick in the 2021 NHL entry draft, are handling the bulk of the workload on the Canadian back end. No other Canadian blueliner played more than 20 minutes.
In the 2-1 quarterfinal win against Russia, it was Stecher who made the play that led to Andrew Mangianpane’s overtime winner. Taking a drop pass from Mangiapane at the top of the circles, Stecher deftly dangled past two Russian players before backhanding a cross-crease pass to Mangianpane for the open net put back.
Stecher with the move… Mangiapane with the finish! https://t.co/FvQCZIdAth
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) June 3, 2021
Stecher shows just 1-1-2 offensive numbers through nine games, but he leads all Canadian defensemen with a +5 rating.
Seider To Play For Bronze
Future Wings defenseman Moritz Seider wasn’t as fortunate. He drew the primary assist on Germany’s goal. However the Germans fell 2-1 to Finland, meaning Sunday’s gold-medal game will be a rematch of the 2019 tournament.
Still, Seider has a shot at a medal in Sunday’s bronze-medal game against the Americans. The Germans haven’t won a medal at this event since 1953.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) June 4, 2021
Then Wings forward Anthony Mantha won a silver medal with the Canadian team in 2019. Canada lost 3-1 to the Finns in the gold-medal game. Mantha assisted on Canada’s goal.
One year earlier, Wings forward Gustav Nyquist picked up a gold medal as Sweden downed Switzerland 3-2 in a shootout. Nyquist scored Sweden’s first goal. Dylan Larkin and Nick Jensen won bronze medals with the USA in 2018.
Nyquist is among 10 Red Wings players who’ve won gold medals at the IIHF World Championship. That list includes Pavel Datsyuk (Russia, 2012), Niklas Kronwall, Mikael Samuelsson, Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg (Sweden, 2006), Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby and Mathieu Dandenault (Canada, 2003) and Johan Garpenlov (Sweden, 1991). Also winning gold with that 1991 Swedish squad was Nicklas Lidstrom. He’d join the Wings for the 1991-92 season, launching his Hall of Fame career.