Mathew Barzal stepped up on Sunday (May 29) to give Canada the boost it needed to stay within one shot of potentially winning back-to-back men's world hockey titles.
The Coquitlam product conjured three assists in helping his team complete yet another desperate comeback and send the gold-medal match to overtime.
However, host Finland were awarded a power-play in the sixth-minute of the extra frame and capitalized to win the 2022 IIHF championship on home ice with a 4-3 victory over the Canadians — who settled for silver.
Barzal's three helpers added to is tournament total of eight points in nine games, compiling two goals and six assists in his sixth international appearance in a red and white maple leaf sweater.
The 25-year-old played hero in the quarter-final game to give Canada a chance to complete for medal at the tournament.
He scored Canada's tying marker with less than two minutes left in the third period to tie it at 3-3 and force overtime against Sweden, and assisted on the game-winning goal to reach the semis.
Barzal plays for the New York Islanders, who missed out on the NHL playoffs for the first time in three years.
Meanwhile, Port Moody's Kent Johnson also made an impact for Canada — likely using the experience to prep himself for the make-up world junior championships set for the summer.
He recorded seven points in 10 games at the men's tournament, including four goals and three assists, which was the eighth highest tallied among his Canadian cohorts.
Johnson signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets in April. He was taken fifth overall by the club at the 2021 NHL Draft.
"We had great character on this hockey club. Two big games [against Sweden and Finland] where we were down by two goals, and we were able to tie the games in the final two minutes," said Canadian coach Claude Julien.
"That shows the type of team we had. I am proud of our guys that came over here to represent Canada, and I am so proud of how hard they played all tournament."
Finland won in 2019, then Canada took revenge in 2021, followed up, now, with the Finns reclaiming their title. The 2020 championship was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Finns were also the 2022 Olympic champions back in February.
- with files from The Canadian Press