World Cup of Hockey 2016 results

The much-anticipated World Cup of Hockey 2016 is ongoing! In this post we will present results from all games as the tournament progresses. The format of the tournament is two groups with four teams. Two teams from each group advances to the semifinals.

World Cup 2016: Playoffs

Finals: Canada 2-0 Team Europe (3-1, 2-1)

There were mixed feelings before the final between Canada and Team Europe: many saw TE as a made-up team without any classic rivalries. There were a lot of empty seats in Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The first game was a sort of sleeping pill where Canada easily outmaneuvered their opponents. Game two was more exciting with Team Europe in the lead with minutes left of the third period. Canada managed to tie the game to 1-1 though, and then they did what they usually do: find a way to win the game. Team Europe got a power play in the end of the period. With 44 seconds to go, Brad Marchand scored; shorthanded! A tough loss for Europe that fought hard in front of a solid performance by Jaroslav Halak in goal. Canada has yet again showed that they are the best team in the world when all the best players participate. They have won Canada Cup / World Cup 6 out of 8 times. Soviet Union won 1981 and USA 1996. The question is what nation can threat them in the future? One suggestion is to create something like The Ryder Cup in Golf – Canada versus The World. Although Canada’s greatness is not just skilled players, they are also well-disciplined, coached, organized and have a certain mentality which might be harder to mimic.

Semifinal 1: Canada – Russia 5-3

Canada came up on top in this classic showdown. Sidney Crosby was the best player on the ice, initiating the goal scoring when Russia made a mistake in the first period. However, Russia woke up in the middle period, tying Canada’s lead and getting the 2-1 advantage. In the end, this was Canada’s game though. 5-3 was the final result.

Semifinal 2: Sweden – Team Europe 2-3 (OT)

Two defensive teams played a careful game which might afterwards be labelled as the most boring match of the tournament. Nicklas Bäckström gave Sweden the lead in the second period just to see Gaborik tie it five minutes before the break. 12 seconds into the third period, Tomas Tatar gave Team Europe the lead. This time, Sweden scored the tie through Erik Karlsson with five minutes left to go. The game went to overtime and Nicklas Bäckström got a great chance to score the decided, just to see the game to the other way. Henrik Lundqvist missed stopping the puck behind his net. Mats Zuccarello found Tatar who could score his second goal of the game, the game winner that eliminated Sweden and sent Team Europe to the final against Canada.

Group stage of the 2016 World Cup


Group A:

Canada
USA
Team Europe
Czech Republic

Group B:

Sweden
Finland
Russia
Team North America U23

Except for the “usual suspects”, two mixed teams are participating in the World Cup of Hockey. Team Europe is a mix of the best European players from nations not having a team in the tournament. Team North America U23 consists of young players from Canada and USA.

Czech Republic 4-3 USA

Czech Republic won the last game of the World Cup of 2016 for these two teams USA finished last in group A without a single victory.

Russia 3-0 Finland

Finland had only honor to play for while Russia was looking to secure a spot in the semi final against Canada in this last game of group B. Tarasenko initiated the Russian goal scoring, assisted by Ovechkin. Telegin and Malkin increased the score. Finland now has to go home and think about why they only managed to score one goal in three games…

Canada 4-1 Team Europe

Europe’s winning streak in group A came to an end against Canada, who has dominated the group. However, Europe will advance to the semifinal against Sweden who lost on overtime against the other mixed team of the tournament, but still secured the victory in group B.

Team North America U23 4-3 Sweden (OT)

In the tight group B, Sweden had to get one point in the last game in order to secure the group victory. The Three Crowns got a nasty start of the game, with a 0-2 score after just two minutes played. Team North America played with high speed and aggressive fore check. However, the Swedes looked comfortable in their (slower) game and worked themselves into the game. They managed to reduce the lead to 1-2 just to see 1-3 come on a breakaway. As the game progressed, Sweden got more pressure in their offensive zone and before the third period, the lead was cut down to 2-3. Patrik Berglund tied the game with 6:50 left of the third period, The game went to overtime in the format three-on-three. It was an exciting showdown where team North America draw the longest straw. However, Sweden won group B through the tie after 60 minutes and North America have to rely on a Finnish victory against Russia in the last game. If Russia wins, they are through to the semifinal.

Sweden 2-0 Finland

A classic Nordic rival showdown between two countries that know each other inside and out. Finland was pressured to win after the loss in the first game against North America. They played a desperate game but failed to convert. Henrik Lundqvist made some great saves in the Swedish goal and Anton Strålman scored 1-0 for the Three Crowns in the middle of the second period. 2-0 was scored by Loui Eriksson in the open net. However, there is still a theoretical chance that Finland can reach semifinal, depending on the results in the last round. Sweden will win the group if they get at least 1 point against Team North America in the last game, however, if they lose, they might be eliminated despite two victories. That is how tough the World Cup of Hockey 2016 is!

Canada 4-2 USA

USA could not afford another loss after losing the first game against Team Europe. They also got the best start with a 1-0 lead after four minutes of play. Canada turned the game around with two goals in 14 seconds and the final score was 4-2 in favor of Team Canada. USA is now eliminated from the World Cup, which is, of course, a big fiasco.

Team Europe 3-2 Czech Republic (OT)

The tournament’s first win in overtime came through German player Leon Draisaitl’s stick, assisted by Norwegian Mats Zuccarello. The score means that Team Europe and Canada will battle for the group win in the last round while Czech Republic together with Team USA are eliminated.

Russia 4-3 Team North America U23

After losing the first game against Sweden, Russia followed up with a win against North America. A goal explosion in the second period gave Russia the important win. Group B is now a very open tale.

Team North America U23 4-1 Finland

The young North American players played with speed and energy against what appeared to be jet-lagged Finns.

Sweden 2-1 Russia

Sweden had not defeated Russia in a competition game since 2004 according to the statistics, however, the only time they have faced each other was in the group stage of the 2006 Olympics. Then, Russia won in the group stage, but Sweden advanced to the final where they defeated Finland to win the gold. Sweden played a disciplined game all over the ice in this opening game. In the first period, no team could create much offense. However, as time passed, Sweden got more and more puck possession, forcing Russia into box play where Gabriel Landeskog gave Three Crowns the 1-0 lead, followed by an offensive rush from defenseman Victor Hedman leading to 2-0, two minutes later in the second period. Sweden were then in full control of the game until the last minute. Russia pulled their goalkeeper and Alexander Ovechkin managed to score 1-2 with 33 seconds to go. Ovechkin was close to score the equalizer as well but he used his glove instead of his stick which meant a no-goal call.

Team Europe 3-0 USA

The mixed European team unexpectedly won against team USA who know has to beat Canada in the next game in order to have a chance to reach the semifinal. A tough task for sure. It will be interesting to see how Team Europe progresses through the tournament!

Canada 6-0 Czech Republic

The tournament’s best team against the worst team. Canada did not hold back and showed why they are the favourites to win the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

Euro Hockey Tour 2015-16

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Euro Hockey Tour is a yearly ice hockey tournament between Sweden, Russia, Finland and Czech Republic. The format of the tournament has varied over time and in this post you can read about the 2015-16 edition. Euro Hockey Tour is a way of the four involved teams getting some time to play together before the IIHF World Championships in the spring. In 2016 the World Championships are held in Russia.

Euro Hockey Tour 2015-16

This season’s edition of the Euro Hockey Tour consists of two minor tournaments and six games where the teams face each other back to back:

5-8 November 2015: Karjala Cup (hosted by Finland and Sweden).
17-20 December 2015: Channel One Cup (hosted by Russia and Czech Republic).

The back to back games are scheduled in three rounds. Exact dates are not set yet.

February 2016:

Sweden – Finland
Czech Republic – Russia

April 2016:

Sweden – Russia
Czech Republic – Finland

End of April / beginning of May 2016:

Czech Republic – Sweden
Finland – Russia

Former winners of Euro Hockey Tour:

2014/2015 Sweden
2013/2014 Finland
2012/2013 Russia
2011/2012 Czech Republic
2010/2011 Russia
2009/2010 Finland
2008/2009 Russia
2007/2008 Russia
2006/2007 Sweden
2005/2006 Russia
2004/2005 Russia
2003/2004 Finland
2002/2003 Finland
2001/2002 Finland
2000/2001 Finland
1999/2000 Finland
1998/1999 Sweden
1997/1998 Czech Republic
1996/1997 Finland

Summary: Finland 8, Russia 6, Sweden: 3, Czech Republic 2.

Sort of a Finnish-Russian dominance, at least on the paper. However, in reality the statistics can be explained by the fact that Czech Republic usually is not interested of winning the Euro Hockey Tour. The tournament has kind of low prestige and is usually seen as an annoyance by the club teams. Russia have a large part of their players at home, in KHL which means they can always place a good team on the ice. Sweden currently has their 69 best players in the NHL. Finland is usually motivated by beating their “big brothers” in both the east and the west. There is no correlation between winning the World Championships and the Euro Hockey Tour, mainly because it is not the same team that is on the ice. With a few exceptions, all the nations usually bring in reinforcements from the National Hockey League. However, Euro Hockey Tour is always fun to watch. Perhaps it would be possible to make the tournament more attractive, like the European Championships of football. Maybe run it once every second or fourth year and find a way to bring in players of higher quality? Time will tell.

What is the difference between Sweden and Switzerland?

Many times, both in sports and other contexts, people mix up Sweden and Switzerland. In this post we will explain the differences and similarities between the two countries. We begin with some basic facts and then have a look at sports and culture.

Basic facts

Both Sweden and Switzerland are European countries. While both claim to be neutral in politics and war, it is safe to say that Switzerland have true neutrality while Sweden often take (informal) stands. Sweden is a member of the European Union while Switzerland is not. Geographically Sweden resides in northern Europe and is a part of Scandinavia and the Nordic countries. Closest neighbours are Norway and Finland. Switzerland lies in central Europe and have borders to France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein. Switzerland is famous for their alps with Matterhorn being one of the more famous mountains with its 4478 m above the sea. However, the highest mountain in Switzerland is Dufourspitze (4634m). Sweden also have alps, although in lesser scale. The highest mountain in Sweden (Kebnekaise) measures 2106 metres above the sea. A few summer’s ago, the editorial staff of Chicken Swedes reached Kebnekaise’s summit after a long walk 🙂

Both Sweden and Switzerland are democraties, however Switzerland is mostly famous for their direct democracy. Both countries have strong independent local regions. Switzerland is officially a federation while Sweden is a constitutional Monarchy. The Swedish king has no legislative power. The capital of Switzerland is Bern and the capital of Sweden is Stockholm. Sweden has almost 10 million inhabitans and Switzerland havs 8 million. In Sweden, Swedish is the official language while Switzerland have four languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh.

Sports in Sweden and Switzerland

When it comes to sports, ice hockey is a big thing in both countries. However, there are no big rivalry between these two nations. While Sweden is an established hockey nation that have had a number of big star in the National Hockey League (such as Börje Salming, Peter Forsberg and Daniel Alfredsson) and many triumphs with the national team (10 World Championships gold medals, the latest from 2017. In 2013 we won the IIHF hockey final against Switzerland. Sweden also have 2 Olympic gold medals). The Swiss hockey league is well known in Europe and generally, the salaries are better there than in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). The silver medal in the 2013 World Championships was a big success for Switzerland. Before that we have to go way back to find medals for the Swiss national team: A World Championship silver from 1935, Gold in the 1926 European Championships and two Olympic bronze medals (1928 and 1948).

Soccer is another big sport in both Switzerland and Sweden. Switzerland made it to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. They got eliminated by finalist Argentina in the round of 16. In Sweden, soccer is profiled as the “National Sport”, however the competition from hockey and individual sports is fierce. Switzerlands best result in the World Cup is quarter final. Sweden has a silver medal from 1958. The latest success was a bronze in the 1994 FIFA World Cup in USA. Sweden beat Switzerland in the 2018 World Cup round of 16. When it comes to individual sports, Switzerland has a number of good alpine skiers, while Sweden is more of a nordic ski country. However, Dario Cologna is an excellent Swiss nordic skiier and Swedish women such as Pernilla Wiberg and Anja Pärson were dominant in downhill.

Other interesting facts

When it comes to culture and crafting, Switzerland is famous for excellent clockworks, army knives and cheese. Swedish industry was dominating with car and airplane manufacturing in the 1900’s, but now the car manufactors have been sold to USA and China. Currently, the Swedish service sector is growing thanks to globalization and digitalization forces. Switzerland have a famous cheese. Sweden has sour fish. For real!

Ok, so how do we conclude this post? Some key points:

  • Sweden and Switzerland have some common political features. However, Switzerland is more formal in their standings while Sweden is more informal.
  • Sweden and Switzerland are big winter sports nations, with Sweden being dominant in ice hockey and nordic skiing, while Switzerland have many prominent alpine skiiers.
  • Switzerland is an excellent crafting nation. Sweden is a dusty industrial nation, currently transforming into a digital economy.
  • Both countries have stinky food, but Sweden’s food is the stinkiest!

More info:

Sweden at Wikipedia

Switzerland at Wikipedia

Triple Gold Club of Hockey

The triple gold club of hockey consists of those players who have won 1. Stanley Cup 2. Olympics and 3. World Championships. The latest addition to the club is Pavel Datsyuk, who became a member when Russia won the 2018 Olympics. When Canada won the gold in WC 2015, Sidney Crosby became the 26th member of the club. He is the only player that has been captain for his team in all three tournaments. When Sweden won their second Olympic hockey gold in the 2006 Winter Olympics, Peter Forsberg became the only player that has won the tournaments two times. Below are all the members, sorted by country. As we can see, Canada and Sweden is in a shared top position in a club that so far only has members from four countries. Finland, USA and Slovakia are trailing behind. Finland and Slovakia lack Olympic gold medals while USA haven’t won the World Championships since 1960 and the Olympics since Miracle on Ice 1980.

Sweden (9)

Tomas Jonsson
Mats Näslund
Håkan Loob
Peter Forsberg
Nicklas Lidström
Fredrik Modin
Niklas Kronwall
Henrik Zetterberg
Mikael Samuelsson

Canada (9)

Rob Blake
Joe Sakic
Brendan Shanahan
Scott Niedermayer
Chris Pronger
Erik Staal
Jonathan Toews
Patrice Bergeron
Sidney Crosby
Corey Perry

Russia (7)

Valerij Kamenski
Alexej Gusarov
Vjateslav Fetisov
Igor Larionov
Alexander Mogilny
Vladmir Malakhov
Pavel Datsyuk

Czech Republic(2)

Jaromir Jagr
Jiri Slegr

The only coach that is a member of the club is Canada’s Mike Babcock.

Ice Hockey World Championships 2015: Finnish superzeroes

Team Finland

Before tonight’s game against Slovakia, Finland had not let in a goal for three games, after beginning the tournament with a 1-5 loss against Team USA. They were thus chasing a tournament record (in modern time) for most minutes without letting in a goal. In the other games today France put up a good fight against Canada, as did Switzerland against Sweden. Russia crushed little brother Belarus and Latvia and Austria got some important points in the bottom of group A. Denmark and Norway met in the Viking Derby of this tournament.

Sweden 2-1 (ot) Switzerland

Sweden got the early lead after a goal by Elias Lindholm seven minutes into the first period. In the same period Switzerland got the equalizer according to the referee but an awake goal referee called for attention, noting that the puck didn’t cross the goal line. However, in the third period Switzerland got the whole puck over the line, again after a decision by the goal judge, tying the game which went to overtime. There, after another odd call from the referee, resulting in a penalty for Switzerland, Filip Forsberg scored the decisive goal for Sweden.

France 3-4 Canada

Tyler Seguin and Jordan Eberle gave Canada the 2-0 lead in the first period while France could reduce it to one goal before the first break. Seguin scored his second power play goal of the day in the second period, giving Canada a comfortable 3-1 lead. However, France came back in the third period, tying the game 3-3. After a boarding penalty on Teddy Trabichet, Canada could once again score in power play with 11 minutes left of the third period. 3-4 was the final result and Canada got revenge on France who won the game between the two teams in the 2014 World Championships.

Belarus 0-7 Russia

Belarus has been the surprise team in group B so far in this tournament, winning against leading team USA the other night. However, against big brother in the east, things didn’t quite go their way. Ilya Kovalchuk began the goal scoring with his 1-0 goal in the first period. After 60 minutes Russia had seven different goal scorers in the protocol and won the game 7-0.

Finland 3-0 Slovakia

As mentioned above, Finland were chasing a record for not letting in goals. Their star goalkeeper Pekka Rinne was ill and had to watch the game from the spectator stands however. 20-year-old talent Juuse Saros got to guard the Finnish net today. He did no mistake. After 40 minutes of play the score was 0-0. Finland scored three straight goals in the third period, letting in zero. The modern time record is 242 minutes and 38 seconds without giving up a goal. In 1937 Great Britains Jimmy Foster played 315 minutes without letting in a goal. At that time the games were played for 3×15 minutes. For the last years, Finnish hockey has been more defensive based than in the 90’s when they were more known for their speed.

Austria 1-2 (ot) Latvia

Extremely important points were at stake in this game where both teams are risking elimination from the tournament. The score was 1-1 after 60 minutes of play and Latvia scored the decisive 2-1 goal in overtime. This places Latvia in sixth place with four points, before France with 3 points and Austria last with 3 points and worse goal difference than France (internal result will count before goal difference). The last team of the group will be regelated to division 1. Lets take a look at the teams coming schedule and predict who will be regelated:

France: Sweden, Latvia, prediction: 0 points = 3 points in total
Latvia: France, prediction: 3 points = 7 points in total
Austria: Germany, Canada, prediction: 0 points = 3 points in total

According to the above, internal result will decide if France or Austria gets regelated. Things aren’t looking good for Austria since they lost 0-2 against France and their best hope is to grab a point or two against Germany.

Ice Hockey World Championships 2015: Belarus beat team USA 5-2

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A few days ago we wrote about the status of the middle and lower sections of the hockey nations and warned about Belarus. Team USA should have listened because in today’s game they got outplayed in the second period. At the same time, home nation Czech Republic beat France 5-1 and superstar veteran player Jaromir Jagr scored again.

USA 2-5 Belarus

After a goalless first period, Belarus exploded in the second period. They scored three straight goals in five minutes. USA got an important equalizer shortly before the second break but Alexej Kalyuzhny did Belaru’s fourth goal about a minute into the last period. He also scored their fifth and last goal shortly after USA:s second goal. This takes Belarus up to the top of group B.

Czech Republic 5-1 France

Czech Republic dominated against France and outshot them by 46-20. After a goal less first period Ondrej Nemec scored the first goal 1:15 into the second period and five minutes later Vladimir Sobotka scored the second. France got a goal in the period but in the third act Jaromir Jagr stepped up and scored 3-1. Nemec did his second goal of the game and assisted to Roman Cervenkas 5-1 goal. The victory means that Czech Republic has a firm grip of the fourth place in group A.

Ice Hockey World Championships 2015: Tight games in the bottom of the groups

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The national championships of ice-hockey are more open now than in the 1980’s and often nations considered smaller can grab a win against the established hockey nations. Sweden, for example, has a history of underestimation of the opponents. For example, in the 1992 World Championships in Prague, they won the gold in a tournament where they played 0-0 against Italy in the group stage. In the 2002 Olympics a star filled Swedish national team who had outplayed their opponents in the group stage, including Team Canada, fell against Belarus in the quarter finals. The later is considered to be one of the worst happenings in the history of Swedish sports. It would be an event hard to forget if it weren’t for the 2006 double gold medals in the Olympics and World Championships, under coach Bengt-Åke Gustafsson. Nonetheless, the two groups in the 2015 World Championships are beginning to sort the top from the bottom and many of yesterdays games were between the bottom teams.

Switzerland 1-0 Germany

This game was as tight as they come where both goalies received 18 shots. Leonardo Genoni in the Swiss goal saved one more than his German colleague Timo Pielmeier. 12:16 into the third period Denis Hollenstein scored the only goal of the game. Switzerland is now on a play off spot in the group while Germany is just below, in fifth place. Switzerland will face Latvia, who are last in group A, in the next game.

Belarus ran over Denmark

Belarus are often underestimated, both by other teams, but also when it comes to odds. For example, you can get 3x the stake if you place a bet on them against Norway in the last round (Betsafe). That is especially good odds thinking of many of the players in Belarus come from the Russian school of hockey. They gave Sweden a good game in the quarter finals in last year’s World Championships in Minsk and yesterday they beat Denmark 5-1. Although Denmark did a good first period, taking a 1-0 lead, Belarus put the pedal in the metal in the second period and scored three straight goals. That was followed up with two more goals in the third period. Yevgeni Kovyrshin scored two of the goals and Belarus climbs up to third place in group B while Denmark has one point so far, giving them a sixth place before Slovenia and their nordic neighbours Norway.

Huet shutout Austria

We put French goalkeeper Cristobal Huet on our list of 10 stars of the 2015 World Championships and in this years tournament he got his first shutout with the national team. Damien Fleury scored 1-0 to France in the third period which became the decisive goal. 2-0 came in open net. Important points for France who has a sixth place in the group while Austria is in seventh place with 2 points. Latvia is in the last spot of the group with 0 points, however they have played against both Canada and Sweden and have som potential easier opponents left to face.

Slovakia 3-1 Slovenia

In the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, Russia, Slovenia beat Slovakia 3-1. Anze Kopitar scored one goal in the game. They almost followed up with another game in this years World Championships, taking the 1-0 lead in the first period. However, Slovakia came back strong in the third period. The teams scoring leader, Andrej Meszaros, tied the game where after superstar Marian Gaborik scored twice. Slovakia is now in second place in group B and Slovenia is in seventh place with no points. Norway is in the last place in the group, also with 0 points, but with worse scoring difference. Slovakia will face Norway in the next game.

Ice Hockey World Championships 2015: Hat-trick by Filip Forsberg

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Nashville rookie Filip Forsberg, was self-critical after Sweden’s first game in the 2015 Ice Hockey World Championships where they beat home nation Czech Republic after a shootout. Coach Pär Mårts told the press that he probably shouldn’t expect to spin up the whole defence and score three goals. In Sweden’s second game, that was precisely what Forsberg did!

Austria 1-6 Sweden

Austria kept up with Sweden for half a period in this game. Filip Forsberg did the first Swedish goal after 13 minutes and after the first period Sweden were in a 3-0 goal lead. In the second period, they played around in Austria’s defensive zone and Forsberg scored two more goals. After the end of the middle act, Sweden had a 6-0 lead. In the third period they lowered the phase a bit and Austria got a comfort goal. Sweden’s next game will be against Latvia tomorrow.

Canada 10-0 Germany

As Austria, Germany could keep up with a better team for a few minutes in the first period. They even got two straight power plays. In the end of the second power play, however, Canadian superstar Sidney Crosby scored. That was the first of a total of 10(!) Canadian goals in this game and they have really established themselves as favourites in this tournament. Canada will face home nation Czech Republic tomorrow.

Other results

Another favourite, Russia, beat Slovenia with 5 goals to 2 after two goals and two assists by Jevgenij Dadonov. Finland also took their first victory, beating Denmark with 3-0. Switzerland won a game with a lot of penalty minutes 3-1 against border rivals France. Important points for both Finland and Switzerland who lost their first games. Slovakia got the first overtime win of the tournament when they beat Belarus 2-1. The game was a tight tale starring two excellent goalkeepers.

 

Ice Hockey World Championships 2015: Top ten star players

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In this post we list the top ten star players of the 2015 Ice Hockey World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. We have one rule, though: Only one player per team is allowed! There are 16 teams in the tournament, thus 6 teams won’t be represented in our list. The criteria for being on the list is either having a long and succesful career or a brilliant future. There is no specific order of the players listed.

Top ten stars (country), motivation.

Filip Forsberg (Sweden)

Born 1994, did an excellent rookie season for Nashville predators this year with 63 points in 82 games, including a hat-trick in the play offs. He was upset with his performance in the first game of the World Championships against Czech Republic this year. Swedish coach Pär Mårts told the press “What did he expect? Luring the defense up on the stands and three goals?” Well, as we write this, Forsberg just did a hat-trick in Sweden’s second game, against Austria.. A winner, not unlike, but not related, to former Swedish superstar Peter Forsberg.

Sidney Crosby (Canada)

“Sid the kid” has a brilliant future AND a succesful career so far. Born in 1987, he has already won two Olympic gold medals with team Canada (2010 and 2014) and the IIHF World Junior Championships (2005). Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Crosby as number one overall in 2005. In 2008/90 he become the youngest team captain ever to win the Stanley Cup. In the 2010 olympics he was assisting captain and scored the decisive goal in overtime in the final against USA.

Jaromir Jagr (Czech Republic)

Czech Republic veteran forward, born in 1972, has already scored in two games in a row in the 2015 World Championships. He won olympic gold with his national team in Nagano 1998 together during a golden era for the country’s ice-hockey with superstars like Dominik Hasek. In the World Championship he has two gold medals, from 2005 and 2010. His only medal from the Junior World Championships was 25 years ago, a bronze in 1990. He played several seasons for Pittsburgh Penguins, winning Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992. Currently he resides in Florida, playing for the panthers.

Mark Streit (Switzerland)

Switzerland is having a generation shift in their national team. Yet, we have chosen one of their veterans on this list. If Mathias Seger had played the 2015 World Championships, he would be another contender, with 16 straight WC-tournaments for his national team and a total of 106 games. Thereafter comes Martin Plüss with 83 games, but he turned down the national team this year. On third place is veteran defenseman Mark Streit, born in 1977. He has played three Olympic games and thirteen World Championships. Streit is the team captain for Switzerland, assisting captain for Philadelphia Flyers and was captain for the New York Islanders. In the 2007/08-season he did 62 points in 81 games.

Cristobal Huet (France)

The only goalkeeper on the list. 39-year-old France veteran Huet has had a long career both in the national team and in the NHL. He was second goaltender when Chicago Blackhawks won the 2010 Stanley Cup. Huet has also represented Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals. He is currently playing for Lausanne in the French league.

Rasmus Ristolainen (Finland)

Ristolainen is a young finish talent (born in 1994), drafted by Buffalo Sabres in the first round. He scored the decisive goal in the World Junior Championships 2014, giving Finland the gold. This year he did most points of all Sabre’s defensemen, 20 points in 78 games.

Jevgenij Malkin (Russia)

If we had not created the rule that allowed only one player per team on this list, more Russian (and Canadian!) players had probably made it. However, we had to choose. If Pavel Datsyuk had been in the team, we probably would have picked him. If Ilya Kovalchuk had won more titles and had a more even temperament, he had been a candidate. However, we picked Malkin. The 28-year-old Russian forward had won both the World Championships (2012 and 2014) and the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh Penguins. He is a heavy, skilled center that broke his contract with Magnitogorsk in 2006 to play in the NHL. He was awarded the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 2007.

Jack Eichel (USA)

Our pick from the young team USA that have sent a bunch of college players to this years World Championships. Eichel is expected to go as number two in this summer’s NHL draft. He is described as a talented forward. He was the captain for team USA in the World Juniors this year. Now, at the age of 18, he makes his senior national debut. He scored 71 points in 40 games in the NCAA this season.

Marian Gaborik (Slovakia)

Marian Gaborik is mainly known for his speed. He was the 3rd overall pick in the 2000 draft. He is currently playing in Los Angeles Kings. Last year he won Stanley Cup with the kings, his first big title. Gaborik has also played for Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets. In 2007 he scored 5 goals and made 1 assist in an NHL game.

Anze Kopitar (Slovenia)

Team Slovenia’s big star. He became the first Slovenian player to win Stanley Cup in 2012, with Los Angeles Kings. His second title came together with Marian Gaborik last year when Kings won again. Kopitar is an excellent all-round player with size, speed and good hands. He mixes a good eye for the game with creativity and densive qualities.

Candidates that fell on the goal-line:

Kaspars Daugavins

Tuomo Ruutu

Ilya Kovaltjuk

Andreij Kastitsyn

Loui Eriksson

Ice Hockey World Championships 2015: Jaromir Jagr scored again

Czech Republic superstar and veteran, 43 year old Jaromir Jagr scored for the second game/day in a row when the Czechs beat Latvia with 4-2. He also scored yesterday when Czech Republic lost to Sweden after a shootout. Latvia, who lost to Canada with 6-1 yesterday, got a good start of tonights game, taking the 1-0 lead. The teams followed each other to 2-2 in the second period. However, too many penalties for Latvia (including one 5 minute major for spearing) made Czech Republic being able to score 2-2 and 3-2. Jagr scored the 3rd goal. Goaltender Salak was replaced after Lativa’s second goal and will probably be the second keeper in the rest of this tournament. Voracek scored 4-2 in the last period. Czech Republic’s next game will be against Canada on Monday.

Slovakia beat Denmark after shootout

Denmark were in the lead with 1-0 against Slovakia before the third period. Then game a goal explosion. Slovakia tied the game and went ahead by 2-1. Denmark scored 2-2 half a minute later. 14 seconds later Slovakia went up in a 3-2 lead. With two minutes left of the game, Denmark managed to tie the game once again. The overtime period was goalless and Slovakia could win the game after the shootout. Important point for Denmark. Questionable first game by Slovakia who almost have the home team advantage since they are playing their games in Ostrava near the border.

Austria scored a late equalizer against Switzerland

Austria is new to the highest division in the World Championships this year. In the game against Switzerland the teams followed each other to 2-2 a bit into the thir period before Matthias Bieber could give Switzerland the lead with 9 minutes to go. However, with less than one minute to go Michael Raffl, assisted by Thomas Raffl could score tie the game which went to a scoreless overtime. In the shootout Austria’s Konstantin Komarek scored the decisive penalty shot and Switzerland once again show that they have troubles playing against weaker teams.

Other results

The score between Germany and France were 1-1 when Patrick Reimer scored the game-winning goal for Germany with less than a minute left to go. Norway took the lead against team USA who came back and won an odd-goal 2-1 victory. Belarus won against Slovenia 4-2. Slovenian superstar Anze Kopitar got one assist in the game.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to Sweden versus Austria. Will Austria manage to get another victory or will Three Crowns come out as the stronger team?