Matt Duchene and Team Canada were looking for payback, and they delivered with Olympic gold.
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog and his Sweden team had defeated Duchene's squad in the quarterfinals at last year's world championship, ending Canada's tournament early and adding momentum to their eventual gold-medal victory.
So when Canada's and Sweden's Olympic teams were announced Jan. 7 and Duchene and Landeskog were each selected to their respective country's squads, Duchene didn't waste any time bringing up a friendly rivalry with his teammate.
"I went up to [Landeskog], and I said, 'It's time to get some revenge from last year in the world's,'" Duchene said after being selected. "Hopefully get some redemption this year."
Duchene and Canada got the redemption they wanted and defended their Olympic title Feb. 23 in a 3-0 shutout win over Sweden in the gold-medal game and the final event of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
SOCHI -- Victory. Vindication. Another gold medal.
Canada got it all Sunday at Bolshoy Ice Dome in a clinical 3-0 victory against Sweden in the gold-medal game of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby scored their first goals of the tournament, and Carey Price made 24 saves, to help Canada become the first repeat gold-medal winner since the Soviet Union/Unified Team won three in a row from 1984-92.
Price didn't give up a goal in the final 164:19 of the tournament. He was named the best goaltender of the tournament by the IIHF, and led all goaltenders with a 0.59 goals-against average and .972 save percentage.
Chris Kunitz also scored his first Olympic goal in the third period.
"For us to be able to execute on the biggest stage and play the way we did, and there was lots of complaints early that we didn't score, I thought we were dominant," Canada coach Mike Babcock said. "I thought we played great."
Matt Duchene centered Canada's fourth line, playing with wingers Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis and Patrick Sharp. He finished with a shot and two faceoff wins.
The Avs' Gabriel Landeskog played on a line with Marcus Johansson and Jakob Silfverberg and had three shots on goal for Sweden.
SOCHI – There have been plenty of surprising results at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but despite all the upsets it was the two countries with the deepest rosters that advanced to the gold-medal game.
Russia was a fascinating story because of the pressure of being at home. Finland became a great story because of the injuries it overcame. The United States picked the wrong time for a power outage. But Canada and Sweden have been consistent in this tournament and earned places in the final with strong defensive efforts Friday at Bolshoy Ice Dome.
"The Swedes are egoless," said Canada coach Mike Babcock, who coaches six players on Sweden's roster with the Detroit Red Wings. "They play well. They play structured. They don't give anything up for free. Their power play is very dangerous. It should be fun."
With apologies to Russia and the United States, Sweden has become the top challenger to Canada for hockey supremacy as the country continues to develop more and more talented, disciplined hockey players. Russia might have more high-end talent at forward and the United States more elite depth in goal, but the Swedes are churning out strong two-way players at every position.
Canada has built-in rivalries with Russia and the United States because of a shared history and geography. The final in Sochi could be the start of a new rivalry, especially if Sweden continues to produce the amount of high-caliber players it has on this roster.
SOCHI -- The chance to win another Olympic medal for Finland was one of the reasons Teemu Selanne threw his golf clubs into a pond at the end of a promotional video in which he announced he would come back for one more season.Mission accomplished for the 43-year-old legend.
Selanne added a third bronze medal to his collection of hardware Saturday by scoring his third and fourth goals of the 2014 Sochi Olympics in a 5-0 victory against the United States in the bronze-medal game at Bolshoy Ice Dome.
Selanne, who has already announced that this will be his last season in the NHL and his last Olympics, finishes his Olympic career with four medals and 24 goals in six tournaments. He helped Finland win the silver medal in the 2006 Torino Olympics and the bronze medal in 1998 in Nagano, 2010 in Vancouver and now 2014, when he also served as the Finnish captain. He also played in the Olympics in 1992 and 2002.
Avalanche center Paul Stastny finished his second Olympics with two goals scored (in Team USA's opener vs. Slovakia) and had 10 shots in six games.
SOCHI -- Canada won the rematch that was four years in the making. Now it can try to win another gold medal.
Shifts: 11 | +/-: 0
Canada will play Sweden in the gold-medal game Sunday (7 a.m. ET, NBC, CBC). The Canadians have won two of the past three Olympic gold medals after going 50 years without one (1952-2002). The U.S. will play Finland for the bronze medal Saturday (10 a.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).
Carey Price had the shutout with 31 saves in a game that featured an electric pace, mostly controlled by the Canadians.
Avalanche center Matt Duchene played center on Canada's fourth line, joining Patrick Sharp and Rick Nash. Duchene finished with a shot in 11 shift and won seven of nine faceoffs.
SOCHI -- Sweden is short two of its three world-class players named Henrik, but one just might be enough to win them gold given the rest of the talent available.
TOI: 11:20 | +/-: 0
The Swedes will face Canada on Sunday (7 a.m. ET, NBC, CBC) in the gold-medal game and will have the chance to claim gold for the second time in three Olympics.
Finland will face the United States on Saturday (10 a.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC) in the bronze-medal game.
SOCHI -- It took an injury to one of Canada's numerous stars, but Matt Duchene will be back in his natural position Friday when the Canadians take on the United States in the 2014 Sochi Olympics semifinals at Bolshoy Ice Dome.
With John Tavares injured and ruled out for the rest of the tournament, Duchene, a healthy scratch Wednesday against Latvia, will play center between Rick Nash and Patrick Sharp on what is considered Canada's fourth line.
Duchene was a left wing on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in the two games he has played in the tournament. The 23-year-old Colorado Avalanche forward had no points, four shots on goal and averaged 13:50 of ice time per game.
"It's a big opportunity for myself now, a chance to play center, to play where I'm comfortable," Duchene said after practice Thursday. "You know, there's been a lot of unfamiliarity in this tournament, and when you get a short chance at it, sometimes it can be tough, so this is going to be much more familiar. I've played against Sharp and Nash a lot, and it looks like, well, we'll see what happens, but looks like it's going to be my line, and I'm looking forward to playing with them."
Sweden and the United States advanced with relative ease to Friday’s Olympic men’s ice hockey semifinals, while Canada and Finland moved on, too.
Those four teams were the top squads to emerge from preliminary play, and the seeds held up Wednesday, with the top-seeded Swedes knocking off Slovakia 5-0, the second-seeded Americans cruising past Czech Republic 5-2, third-seed Canada holding off Latvia 2-1 and No. 4-seed Finland eliminating host Russia 3-1.
Three of the four Avalanche players representing their countries in Sochi are moving on.
Landeskog and Team Sweden have yet to go past regulation in any of their four wins and look like a strong bet to advance to the title game.
Canada center John Tavares on Wednesday suffered a leg injury in the second period against Latvia and will miss the rest of the 2014 Olympics.
That could mean more of an opportunity for Avalanche center Matt Duchene, who has been a healthy scratch for Canada in two of it four games in Sochi, including in Wednesday's 2-1 win.
Tavares was knocked from the game after taking a big hit from Latvia's Arturs Kulda, and he didn't return to the game after retreating to Canada's dressing room.
Duchene, making his Olympics debut, is plus-one so far in two games for Canada, with four shots on goal in 13:50 of ice time per game. He was a scratch in Canada's first preliminary round game against Norway before playing in its final two prelims against Austria and Finland.
All four Colorado Avalanche players at the 2014 Winter Olympics have made it to the quarterfinals after Russia picked up a shutout victory Tuesday in the qualification playoffs.
Russia defeated Norway 4-0 and will play No. 4 seed Finland on Wednesday at 5:30 a.m. MT (NBCSN, CBC). Semyon Varlamov did not play in the game for Russia as Sergei Bobrovsky received the start instead. Varlamov was coming off a 27-save shutout win on Sunday against Slovakia.
Team Russia has not named a starting goaltender yet for its game against Finland.
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog and top seed Sweden will open quarterfinal action against Slovenia at 1 a.m. MT on Wednesday (NBCSN, TSN). Slovenia defeated Austria 4-0 on Tuesday for its second win at its first ever Olympic Games.
The winner of the Sweden-Slovenia matchup will play the winner of Russia-Finland in the semifinals on Friday.
Maybe the biggest upset of the tournament so far came Tuesday when Latvia defeated Switzerland 3-1. The up-and-coming Swiss were coming off a silver medal at last year's world championship, but Latvia used two first-period goals to help it capture its first win of the tournament and possibly the biggest victory in its country's history.