Team Canada eventually lost the IIHF World Championship Gold Medal game to host Finland in overtime. But Canada doesn't get to OT if not for the work of New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal.
With the score 3-1 for Finland and only two minutes and 12 seconds to go in regulation, Mathew Barzal went full-on beast mode as he fired off two primary assists 48 seconds apart to tie the game and push for OT.
New York Islanders Mathew Barzal beast mode isn't enough to win Gold
First it was this set up for Zach Whitecloud at 57:48 in the game.
Barzal has no angle to get in a good shot off, but somehow he knew exactly where Zach Whitecloud was going to be. Watch that pass again. Barzal doesn't look but still tees up the Golden Knights defender perfectly. Wild.
Seconds later, the magician-from-Coquitlam was back at it with this dish to Max Comtois.
Excellent Barzalian puck control here. Honestly, this is Mathew Barzal at his best. From expertly protecting the puck, to dipping and diving around defenders, and then feeding a man in the slot for the goal.
And look, those two helpers weren't the only points Barzal put up in this game. Early in the second period, the "kid who won the Calder" made a silky smooth cross-ice pass to Buffalo Sabres forward Dylan Cozens on the power play.
A hell of a pass from Mathew Barzal.
So that's three helpers, all primary assists, three shots on net, a +2, and 20:43 of total ice time. An effort that earned him Player of the Game honors. Sadly, it was't enough to give Canada the gold. But Barzal did his job, his team probably should have been more disciplined. Finland scored three of its four goals (including the OT winner) on the power play.
Barzal ends the tournament with eight points from nine games, most of that coming further into the tournament. As the spotlight grew, Barzal rose to the occasion. Something you love to see as an Islanders fan.
Congrats to Team Canada and Barzal on getting the silver medal. The Isles forward played a hell of a game and a hell of a tournament.