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Crosby, Kunitz lead Canada to gold, 3-0

| Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, 9:51 a.m.
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Canada's Sidney Crosby smiles after defeating Sweden in their men's ice hockey gold medal game at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games February 23, 2014.
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Canada's Sidney Crosby holds his gold medal at the victory ceremony for the men's ice hockey competition at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games February 23, 2014.
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Canada's Sidney Crosby scores past Sweden's goalie Henrik Lundqvist on a breakaway during the second period of their men's ice hockey gold medal game at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games February 23, 2014.
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Canada's Sidney Crosby celebrates after scoring during the Men's ice hockey final Sweden vs Canada at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 23, 2014.
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Canada's goalie Carey Price and Sidney Crosby bump heads after winning their men's ice hockey gold medal match against Sweden at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games February 23, 2014.
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Canada's gold medalist players pose during the Men's Ice Hockey Medal Ceremony at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 23, 2014.
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Sidney Crosby of Canada and Jakob Silfverberg of Sweden shake hands after Canada defeated Sweden 3-0 during the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
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Canada's Chris Kunitz reacts after scoring against Sweden during the third period of their men's ice hockey gold medal match at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games February 23, 2014.
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Canada's Ryan Getzlaf hits Sweden's Jimmie Ericsson (L) during the Men's ice hockey final Sweden vs Canada at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 23, 2014.
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Chris Kunitz of Canada scores his team's third goal with a long range shot during the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
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Jonathan Toews of Canada celebrates after scoring the opening goal agtainst Henrik Lundqvist of Sweden during the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (C) celebrates Team Canada's gold medal win over Sweden in the men's ice hockey gold medal game at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, in Toronto, February 23, 2014.
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Gold medalists Canada celebrate during the medal ceremony after defeating Sweden 3-0 during the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

SOCHI, Russia — It wasn't quite the Golden Goal, but Sidney Crosby's breakaway goal cemented Canada's 3-0 victory over Sweden in the Olympic gold medal game Sunday at Bolshoy Ice Dome.

Crosby had no goals in the tournament until beating Henrik Lundqvist with a slick backhander at 15:43 of the second period. That gave Canada a 2-0 lead, and Sweden never came close to counterpunching afterward.

In Vancouver four years ago, Crosby scored in overtime to beat the United States.

“It feels amazing, obviously,” Crosby said. “We had to come here and make real adjustments, to the ice, to what other teams were doing. We had to work. I think our work ethic, our desperation, our defense and our goaltending made the difference. Everyone was committed as a group to getting this done. We stuck with it.”

Crosby said that, as he rushed up ice toward his goal, he recalled being stopped by the U.S. goaltender Ryan Miller with two minutes left in that gold-medal game in Vancouver. And when the Americans tied later, it forced an overtime.

“I didn't want that to happen again,” Crosby said. “I kept telling myself that, if you get a chance like that, you have to make the most of it.”

Chris Kunitz, Crosby's teammate in Pittsburgh, also scored his first goal of the tournament in sensational style with a wicked wrister under the crossbar at 9:04 of the third period.

“It's a great feeling. I can't even describe it,” Kunitz said. “We came here with a plan and a goal, but you really have to come together as a team to get it done. We put our trust in each other.”

And on finally scoring: “It felt really good, to contribute more than anything. I've been a little snake-bitten, but better late than never.”

Kunitz had been hit hard from behind by Sweden's Patrik Berglund in the second period, his nose bloodied. But he said afterward the nose was only “a little off the dasher” and not broken.

Canada goaltender Carey Price made 24 saves for his second consecutive shutout, including the 1-0 victory over the U.S. in the semifinal.

Jonathan Toews scored the first goal on the redirect of a sharp feed from Jeff Carter at 12:55 of the first.

It was Canada's third gold since the NHL began sending players to the Olympics, alongside the 2002 team that featured Mario Lemieux and 2010.

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