The IIHF World Championship is often seen as the Stanley Cup for players who miss the NHL playoffs. Instead of hoisting a silver mug, they don a gold medal. It’s viewed as a method to erase some of the disappointment of a failed NHL campaign.
For the second time in three tournaments, the Detroit Red Wings have themselves a gold medal winner. Wings defenseman Troy Stecher was a prominent presence for Canada as the Canadians edged Finland 3-2 in overtime in the championship game, a rematch of the 2019 gold-medal game.
The 2020 IIHF World Championship was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the gold-medal game, Stecher logged a game-high 37 shifts and also led all skaters in ice time, skating 27:46. Stecher played 10:22 in the third period alone.
In 2019, Stecher, then with the Vancouver Canucks, was only the losing side of the equation, settling for silver when the Finns downed Canada 3-1. Anthony Mantha, a Red Wings forward in 2019, was also part of Canada’s silver medal-winning squad.
Then-Detroit forward Gustav Nyquist won a gold medal as Sweden beat Switzerland 3-2 in a shootout in the 2018 IIHF World Championship gold-medal game. Nyquist scored a goal in that game. Nyquist, Pavel Datsyuk (2012, Russia) and Niklas Kronwall (Sweden, 2006) are the only Red Wings to score for the gold medal-winning team in the championship game.
Kronwall, who was named the tournament MVP and best defenseman of that 2006 world tourney, picked up a goal and an assist as the Swedes blanked the Czech Republic 4-0. In 2012, Datsyuk posted a goal and two assists as the Russians dumped Slovakia 6-2.
Wings defense prospect Moritz Seider wasn’t as fortunate as Stecher on Sunday. Seider and Germany were upended 6-1 by the USA in the bronze-medal game. The Germans were trying to win their first medal in the event since 1953.
Seider was rewarded for his performance at the worlds with a place on the tournament all-star team.