World Champions Again!
2013 Ice Hockey World Championship
This year’s Ice Hockey World Championships were held in Stockholm and Helsinki (arranged in cooperation by Sweden and Finland).
Those of you who are interested in ice hockey have of course followed the reports from the games, many of you with despair and raised eyebrows. For you who didn’t keep up to date with the news, here’s the final report from the games:
Tre Kronor, the Swedish team, won the gold medals, thoroughly beating Switzerland in the final.
It was the ninth time Tre Kronor won the gold medals. This is how it happened this time:
Russia, last year’s champions, appeared rather washed-out but managed to reach the quarterfinals, where they were eliminated by the US team.
Slovakia was eliminated by Finland. And Czech Republic was beaten by Switzerland. Actually, all of the teams from eastern Europe, usually being hot contenders for the medals, looked rather pale.
Sweden played even with a star-studded Canadian team in the quarterfinals but won in the end by penalties.
After beating Russia, USA was beaten by Switzerland in the semifinals, to many people’s surprise. But Switzerland, which for many years had been in the B-series, surprised everybody this year by winning every match so far. Switzerland had not reached a final for more than 70 years!
In the other semifinal, Sweden won over Finland, thus qualifying to meet Switzerland in the final.
The Swedish team, Tre Kronor, also started out rather pale in the tournament, but gained strength as more and more Swedish NHL and KHL players joined the team. Still, the final game in Stockholm Globe Arena was a nail-biting thriller for two periods: the Swiss put up a hard resistance but were finally beaten by 5-1.
Thus, Switzerland received the silver medals, and USA got the bronze after beating Finland in the match for bronze.
As this was written, a couple of hours after the final match, celebrations were ongoing all over Sweden – in Stockholm, people headed for the fountain with the huge glass sculpture on Sergels Torg (Sergel Plaza): celebrating with a bath in the fountain is tradition, but alas – the water hadn’t yet been turned on. Official celebrations will be held Monday afternoon in Kungsträdgården.
Paramount stars in Tre Kronor were (of course) the twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin from Vancouver Canucks. But even if their contribution was important, the win was most of all a team effort.
Other fortunate contributors from NHL were Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado Avalanche), Loui Eriksson (Dallas Stars), Erik Gustafsson (Philadelphia Flyers), Henrik Tallinder (New Jersey Devils), and last but not least the young goalie, Jhonas Enroth from Buffalo Sabres, who founded a world class reputation.
Two players from KHL were also praised: the captain Staffan Kronwall from Lokomotiv Jaroslavl and Fredrik Pettersson from HK Donbass.
The magnificent Alexander Edler from Vancouver Canucks was however unlucky: focusing on the puck instead of where he was heading, he collided with Canada’s Eric Staal in a knee-on-knee hit which was deemed reckless and rendered him suspension for the rest of the games.