Canada became the first team to win back-to-back gold medals in Olympic men’s ice hockey in 22 years by beating Sweden 3-0 at the Sochi Games, completing a national sweep of the hockey titles.
The men now are halfway toward the accomplishment of the Canadian women, who won their fourth straight Olympic hockey gold medal Feb. 20.
Canada, which won its record ninth Olympic men’s title yesterday, is the first nation to retain its gold medal since the Soviet Union won three straight in 1984, 1988 and 1992. In the last of those Olympics, it was playing as the Unified Team.
Sweden played without one of its top offensive players, forward Nicklas Backstrom, due to a failed drug test. Backstrom and team officials said it was for an allergy pill he has been taking daily for seven years without any problems.
Backstrom, who plays for the NHL’s Washington Capitals, was pulled out of pregame practice for a disciplinary hearing before an International Olympic Committee anti-doping committee and prevented from playing in the game. Instead, he watched it in the athletes’ village.
Canada went 6-0 in Sochi, becoming the first undefeated Olympic men’s hockey champion since the Soviets took gold at the 1984 Sarajevo Games.