By Paul Osborne

Russia have been crowned champions of the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships ©Getty ImagesRussia has won the 2014 Ice Hockey World Championships, beating Finland 5-2 in the final to claim its fourth gold medal in seven years.

Held in Minsk, Belarus, the World Championships, the pinnacle of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) calendar, brought together the top 16 national ice hockey teams from across the globe with the final held at the Minsk Arena.

The Russian team was looking to avenge their quarter-final defeat to Finland in Sochi at the Winter Olympic Games, and got their chance in the all-important gold medal final.

With that 3-1 Olympic defeat still fresh in their minds, the Russian team bounced back strongly in Belarus, as they maintained an unbeaten record en route to the final before disposing of the Finns 5-2 to secure the gold.

The win was not as smooth sailing as the scoreline may suggest, with the teams fairly evenly matched coming into the third and final period.

This is where the Russians clicked through the gears, however, as they scored another two goals to see them safely through to the end of the match.

Russian forward Viktor Tikhonov was named top scorer for the Championships as he managed eight goals and eight assists, including one goal in the final, to top team mates Danis Zaripov and Sergei Plotnikov in the standings.

Viktor Tikhonov led the Russian charge in terms of points over the Championships as he picked up eight goals and eight assists to top the overall scorers table ©Getty ImagesViktor Tikhonov led the Russian charge in terms of points over the Championships as he picked up eight goals and eight assists to top the overall scorers table ©Getty Images

After a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Russia in the semi-final, defending champions Sweden battled back to beat the Czech Republic 3-0 in the bronze medal play-off.

The result tops off a great couple of months for the Swedes following their Olympic silver medal success in Sochi.

Back-to-back Olympic champions Canada had a Championships to forget as they were knocked out in the quarter-final stage by Finland.

As was the case for the United States as they fell to a 4-3 defeat by the Czech Republic in their quarter-final match-up.

The tournament had been shrouded in controversy in its build-up, as many critics of Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko called for the Championships to be moved or boycotted over the country's poor human rights record and its treatment of opposition activists, many of who have become political prisoners.

No such sanctions were carried out when the Championships came to pass, however, with viewing figures thought to be among their highest to date throughout the 16-day tournament.

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