In case you hadn’t heard, our sweet hockey boy William Nylander’s Team Sweden beat our sweet hockey boy Mitchell Marner’s Team Canada in a shootout in the gold medal game of the World Hockey Championship.
Nylander took home MVP of the tournament after posting seven goals and seven assists in ten games, good for a tie for third place in tournament points. Marner had a pretty decent tournament himself, posting four goals and eight assists for a total of 12 points in ten games. There were a whole lot of beautiful moments along the way for our perfect sons, so I’m going to make an attempt at telling this wonderful story from beginning to end.
May 5th – Opening day of the tournament
Team Sweden lost 2-1 in a shootout to Team Russia. Nylander didn’t record a point, but that’s obviously because he was playing with Carl Soderberg and William Karlsson. Nicklas Backstrom wasn’t there yet (this is some solid foreshadowing.) Nylander was also stopped by Andrei Vasilevsky on his shootout attempt.
— Michael Augello (@MikeInBuffalo) May 5, 2017
Team Canada opened the tournament on the same day, beating the Czech Republic 4-1. Marner was held pointless on his 20th birthday, which is extremely rude of the Czech’s, but he didn’t seem to be bothered by it. His team won regardless.
Great birthday in Paris, thanks for all the wishes! 🎉🎊 @ Paris, France https://t.co/yWaFJ3o0mh
— Mitchell Marner (@Marner93) May 5, 2017
The kid hasn’t changed a bit.
Keep your head up. Marner train coming through. pic.twitter.com/UG5NbYAycl
— platinum seat ghosts (@3rdPeriodSuits) May 5, 2017
It’s not like he wasn’t still making plays, by the way.
— Grady Sas (@GradySas) May 5, 2017
Really gutless move by Mrazek to make that incredible save when all Marner wanted was a point on his birthday. Should’ve been suspended, in my opinion. That line of Marner, Brayden Point and Travis Konecny was extremely fun all tournament long.
The next day, Nylander’s Team Sweden was back in action against Team Germany. Nylander was still anchored to Soderberg, but Karlsson was swapped out for Joel Eriksson Ek.
The first beautiful play Nylander made in this game was an assist on a Jonas Brodin goal to make it 4-2 Sweden.
— C More Sport (@cmoresport) May 6, 2017
The play starts with Nylander playing give and go with Eriksson Ek at the blue line. When he receives the return pass he has room in the middle of the ice until a German defender lunges at him. Nylander patiently side steps the defender and sends a perfect backhand pass across the slot to Brodin who one times a shot into the gaping cage. Also, every play looks even prettier with those jerseys on.
Nylander followed that up with a goal of his own to make it 6-2 and it was a perfect shot.
William Nylander – 2:6 pic.twitter.com/0vC1ircuos
— Gary (@GaryUSAgo) May 6, 2017
This goal was almost identical to one he scored against the Blue Jackets in the regular season.
Just noticed Marner let the puck go through his feet to get to Nylander on Nylander's goal last night. Not sure how he knew he was there. pic.twitter.com/2G12EbB2tz
— Dylan Fremlin (@DylanFremlin) March 23, 2017
Nylander wasn’t done yet, as he scored another pretty goal to make it 7-2 Sweden, which was the final score.
William Nylander – 2:7 pic.twitter.com/actdMwYpl1
— Gary (@GaryUSAgo) May 6, 2017
Marner’s Team Canada returned to action to face Team Slovenia, who are almost as bad as their jerseys. Marner had a goal and assist in Canada’s 7-2 victory despite playing less than 12 minutes and his goal was extremely pretty.
Marner showing off the patience on his goal against Slovenia this morning. pic.twitter.com/1BD0fG6z20
— Dylan Fremlin (@DylanFremlin) May 7, 2017
That is some display of patience from the kid and also hilarious defending by Slovenia. Marner also recorded the primary assist on Nathan MacKinnon’s hat trick goal on the powerplay.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 7, 2017
Both Nylander and Marner played hockey on this day, which means it was a very good Monday. Predictably, Canada ran over Belarus 6-0 and Marner recorded two assists to go along with four penalty minutes (goon).
Marner’s two assists came on the first two goals of the game and were both primary assists. The first one was the result of Marner putting a backhand pass right in Brayden Point’s wheelhouse, who hammered a one-timer into the net. The second was almost the exact same goal as the MacKinnon hat trick goal against Slovenia. Powerplay, Marner cross-ice pass to MacKinnon, MacKinnon snipe.
— Flintor (@TheFlintor) May 8, 2017
Later that day, Nylander was held off the scoresheet in a 4-3 loss to Team USA, but this happened.
William Nylander keeps growing. pic.twitter.com/ezJyGNztN5
— Uffe Bodin (@UffeBodin) May 8, 2017
I would like this to be a permanent fixture on the ice at the ACC.
After two days off for both teams, Team Sweden returned to face Latvia and Team Canada faced off against Team France.
Nylander was held off the board in a 2-0 victory, but his happened.
Perfectly said from the guy who picked Jake Virtanen over Nylander and Ehlers https://t.co/TSlrUrel4a
— NotNeifi (@NotNeifi) May 11, 2017
Nylander is so shifty around the net – great shift in direction and beautiful cross-crease pass too. pic.twitter.com/295PUJr3ii
— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) May 12, 2017
Here is a nice, subtle play by Nylander in that game. This is pretty much all I could find.
Also, Backstrom announced on this day that he was headed to join Team Sweden after his Capitals lost to the Penguins in their second round matchup. Again.
Marner was also shutout in a 3-2 victory over France. Sad day for the kids.
Sweden was back in action the next day and they crushed Team Italy 8-1. Our beloved son William had three assists.
Team Canada apparently lost to Switzerland in overtime?! It doesn’t matter, though, because Marner had a goal and a primary assist in a 3-2 loss.
Canada falls 3-2 in OT. Mitch Marner picked up on assist on a goal by O'Rielly and scored one himself. pic.twitter.com/SYePFr3l9G
— Flintor (@TheFlintor) May 13, 2017
Marner’s goal was awesome, as he tried to pass the puck between his legs across the front of the net, but the puck ricocheted into the net off of a defender’s skate.
The Nylander-Backstrom dynamic duo arrived in a 4-2 win over Denmark. Nylander recorded two goals and an assist while Backstrom had a goal and an assist. Nylander’s second goal was perfect, just like himself.
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 14, 2017
His first goal was also a very nice finish off of a great feed from John Klingberg.
— Alex Nunn (@aj_ranger) May 14, 2017
This is a good tweet.
when you're having fun with willy nylander but you get hit with a reminder of who the canucks picked 6th overall in 2014 pic.twitter.com/vGDpIjBo8n
— Barstool Gráinne (@wholegrainne) May 14, 2017
Team Canada beat Norway 5-0 and Marner recorded one assist after a great back check.
This lead to an assist on the bomb by Parayko pic.twitter.com/tHDqxQXmeo
— Flintor (@TheFlintor) May 15, 2017
Both Canada and Sweden recorded wins on the final day of the preliminary round. Sweden beat Slovakia 4-2 and Nylander recorded a beautiful goal off of a nice feed from Backstrom.
— Alex Nunn (@aj_ranger) May 16, 2017
Later that day, Marner put on a show against Finland, scoring twice and adding an assist. This goal was crazy.
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 16, 2017
Again showing off the patience and that curl and drag across the middle of the ice. Gorgeous. He was just flying in this game.
It's the Mitch Marner show today. pic.twitter.com/ivHQEhgzz4
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) May 16, 2017
Marner also lost half of a front tooth and seemed kind’ve excited about it.
— Dylan Fremlin (@DylanFremlin) May 17, 2017
Full game highlights:
Team Canada drew Germany in their quarterfinal matchup while Sweden drew Switzerland. Canada pulled out a surprisingly close 2-1 victory and Marner recorded a powerplay assist.
Mark Scheifele – 1:0 pic.twitter.com/V4QlFBdLZV
— Tony Fuller (@TonyFuller0) May 18, 2017
In Sweden’s quarterfinal, Nylander led the team to a 3-1 victor over Switzerland with two goals and an assist. The goal was outrageous
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) May 18, 2017
First of all, that was an unbelievable pass by Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but that finish by William was fire emoji. I want that video on a loop on my ceiling so I can wake up to that goal every morning.
This set up semi-final match-ups of Finland vs. Sweden and Canada vs. Russia.
Marner didn’t record a point in a 4-2 Canadian victory, but after the game was named one of Canada’s three best players along with Tim Horton’s enthusiast Ryan O’Reilly and Mark Scheiffele.
Later on, Sweden beat Finland 4-1 and Nylander recorded another goal and assist. His goal was another pretty give and go with, surprise, Nick Backstrom.
William Nylander puts the Swedes up 3-1 in the semi-finals. His second point of the game. pic.twitter.com/S6mGJHdiUH
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) May 20, 2017
This set up the perfect conclusion to the tournament: Marner vs. Nylander. Sweden won the game 2-1 in a shootout (it’s very dumb that the finals can conclude in a shootout) and William was so very happy.
Find someone who'll jump into your arms like Nylander to Lundqvist. (via Reuters) pic.twitter.com/cKagjGfPzu
— Ian McLaren (@iancmclaren) May 21, 2017
NYLANDER FROM THE TOP RUNG pic.twitter.com/oN6sQKEk8W
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) May 21, 2017
William Nylander experiences joy on a level that most human beings can't fathom. Here he is blissfully destroying Henrik Lundqvist. pic.twitter.com/onlokJFtPP
— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) May 21, 2017
MVP. No big deal.
Then he celebrated with his friends.
In fact, they were still celebrating the next day.
— C More Sport (@cmoresport) May 22, 2017
It me as a camera operator. pic.twitter.com/VMyhHzHwcv
— Dylan Fremlin (@DylanFremlin) May 22, 2017
Then these two perfect young boys went on to win several Stanley Cups together.