Canada celebrate after winning the World Championship title ©Getty Images

Canada successfully defended their International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Men's World Championship crown this evening with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Finland at Moscow's VTB Ice Palace.

Unbeaten Finland had eased past the Canadians in the preliminary phase, but quickly realised they were facing a far sterner test this time around.

The North American side registered the first seven shots on target and were eventually rewarded when Connor McDavid registered broke his tournament duck, driving beyond sprawling Finnish netminder Mikko Koskinen.

Finland fought back but were met with plucky defence as Cam Talbot made 16 saves in a tournament-leading fourth shutout.

Matt Duchene then added an empty-net goal with one second left on the clock to seal the win.

Finland's forward Patrik Laine sits on the ice after losing the gold medal game ©Getty Images
Finland's forward Patrik Laine sits on the ice after losing the gold medal game ©Getty Images

Canada duly become the first team to win two successive titles since Russia in 2008 and 2009.

Captain Corey Perry became the 27th player to join the Triple Gold Club, adding a World Championship gong to his two Olympic golds from 2010 and 2014 and his 2007 Stanley Cup. 

He received the trophy following an appearence by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who described Canada as the “founding fathers of ice hockey.”

Russia ensured they featured on the podium for the eighth time in the last 10 editions with a 7-2 rout of arch-rivals United States in the earlier bronze medal game.

The host nation took a dominant 4-0 lead before ending any hope of an American fightback.

Artemi Panarin finished with a goal and two assists, while Sergei Mozyakin scored two goals and Vyacheslav Voinov, Ivan Telegin, Yevgeni Dadonov and Vadim Shipachyov also registered on the scoresheet. 

Frank Vatrano found the net twice for the US.