Canada-Russia: World Championships Decide Who's Best in the History of Hockey

Martin AverySenior Writer IMay 10, 2009

QUEBEC CITY, QC - MAY 18:  Dany Heatley #15 of Canada celebrates his goal in the second period against Russia during the Gold Medal Game of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship at the Colisee Pepsi on May 18, 2008 in Quebec City, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Playing just days after two Canadian diplomats were kicked out of Russia, the final game in the 2009 World Championships will decide not only who gets gold and silver but who takes the lead in the history of battles between the two best teams in international hockey.

The Russians plus the Soviet have 24 world championship and so does a little country called Canada. It's David versus Goliath and David (Canada) is favored to win this one.

Sweden won the bronze medal, defeating a surprising young team from the USA.

The Russians have 15 players returning from last year’s team and the Canadians have six. The Canuck team has five of the tournaments top scorers.

Martin St. Louis has 15 points in eight game,s and Steven Stamkos is tied for the tournament lead with seven goals.

Shea Weber, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza have also scored lots of goals for Canada...

Canada entered the 2009 IIHF World Hockey Championship tied for first place with Russia in the pre-tournament world rankings and could take the lead in the rankings.

They had a strong start to this tournament and lost just one game but the Russians went undefeated.

Canada has topped the world rankings for years, but this is the first time Russia has sat atop the rankings since the format was introduced by the IIHF in 2004.

Both Canada and Russia have 2,000 points, but that will not affect the seeding for the upcoming 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

Canada is the No. 1 seed based on the results of the 2008 tournament played in Canada.

Shane Doan, who wore the "C" when Canada won in Moscow in 2007 and lost in Quebec City last year, was named captain for Canada again.

The 32-year-old captain of the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes said anything less than gold will be a disappointment. He also talked about the "bitter taste" left in his mouth following last year's heart-breaking overtime loss to Russia in the final.

Leading 4-2 with 10 minutes to play in the final period, Canada somehow lost the game. Ilya Kovalchuk scored the overtime winner while Rick Nash sat in the penalty box serving a delay-of-game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass.

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