The 90th edition ofSpengler Cup, held in Davos from 26 to 31 December 2016, has its participants announced: beside title holderTeam Canada and host HC Davos, two teams from KHL will battle in Davos:Dinamo Minsk, returning after the victorious campaign of 2009 andAvtomobilist Yekaterinburg, partecipating also in last edition. Another returning team, after the final lost in 2015, is Swiss vice championHC Lugano. FinallyMountfield HKfrom Czech town of Hradec Kralové will debut in the most famous tournament in the world.
“I am extremely happy, that we can welcome two well-known teams with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (Russia) and Dynamo Minsk (Belarus) as our guests in Davos. Like this, the KHL as one of the top ice hockey leagues is represented duly”, said OC President, Marc Gianola
There is a classic 1979 Soviet comedy called Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, and that phrase fit the bill here. This wasn’t the dream ending the Russians had hoped for – let an atonement for bowing out in the 2014 Olympic quarter-final in Sochi – but at least they had some reasons to smile in their last IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship game in the Russian capital.”Even though we didn’t make the final, we wanted to give our fans something to cheer, to thank them for coming and supporting us throughout the tournament,” said Russia’s Roman Lyubimov.
Under head coach Oleg Znarok, the Russians have now won medals at three consecutive Worlds: gold (2014), silver (2015), and bronze (2016). They’ve medalled at eight out of the last 10 Worlds altogether.
Russia has also finished in the top three each time this tournament has hit Moscow, including 1957 (silver), 1973 (gold), 1979 (gold), 1986 (gold), and 2007 (bronze).
Still, more was expected in 2016. The hosts stumbled in their opening 3-0 loss to the Czechs and a 6-4 win over now-demoted Kazakhstan, but then powered through without a defeat until falling 3-1 to their recent nemesis, Finland, in the semi-finals.”I’ve got mixed feelings about this tournament,” said Russian starting goalie Sergei Bobrovski. “We were under a lot of pressure, and there was great expectation around us. It feels like we lost, even though we came out with a medal. At the same time, the guys put up a good fight. We gave everything we could but it wasn’t quite enough.”
Sergei Moyzakin led the way with two goals and an assist, and Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists. Yevgeni Dadonov and Vadim Shipachyov each added a goal and an assist. Vyacheslav Voinov and Ivan Telegin also scored for Russia. Captain Pavel Datsyuk chipped in three helpers.”We played pretty average,” said Shipachyov of his team’s overall performance. “It’s good that in the end we got a medal, but overall we’re disappointed.”
Frank Vatrano scored twice for the Americans, who outshot Russia 30-29.”We knew what to expect: high-end skill and offensive chances,” said Tyler Motte. “They brought it today.”
It was tough for both sides to bounce back the day after their golden dreams ended. In the semi-finals, the U.S. rallied from a 2-0 deficit against Canada, only to lose 4-3.”We had the late game last night,” said Dylan Larkin. “It’s a quick turnaround. And then the emotions of losing a close one to Canada last night. And then [Russia] came out and played a good game in front of the home crowd. It hurts. It’s very disappointing.”
The Americans missed a chance to become the first nation ever to win back-to-back bronze medals by beating host countries. In last year’s bronze game, the U.S. earned a 3-0 shutout over a Czech team with tournament MVP Jaromir Jagr in Prague. The last time the U.S. medalled at consecutive Worlds was in 1949 (bronze) and 1950 (silver).”We had a game plan,” said U.S. captain Matt Hendricks. “We knew what we had to do. We just didn’t execute. You have to give Russia a lot of credit. They played a very strong game.”
Still, overall, the U.S. can take pride in salvaging a fourth-place finish. Coach John Hynes’ team exceeded expectations by making it this far after losses to Canada, Finland, Germany and Slovakia in group play. In the near future, the Americans could well find themselves in the final, thanks to USA Hockey’s excellent development programs.
At 6:23, Voinov opened the scoring on a centre point drive through a kneeling Keith Kinkaid’s legs, with Sergei Shirokov providing traffic in front. That ignited Russia’s confidence. The mood lightened perceptibly in the Ice Palace with chants of “Shaibu!” from the partisan crowd of 12,043.
The Russian power play struck to make it 2-0 at 13:41. Datsyuk sent a nice cross-ice pass to Mozyakin, who teed up a slapper from the left faceoff circle that beat Kinkaid high to the stick side.
Mozyakin, 35, won the KHL scoring title this season (67 points) and captained Metallurg Magnitogorsk to the Gagarin Cup as the leading playoff scorer (25 points). He is the second all-time leading goal-scorer in Russian league history behind Boris Mikhailov.
The U.S. had a rough end to the first period, as Russia’s defencemen began throwing their weight around. Dmitri Orlov caught Jordan Schroeder with a low hit, sending him cartwheeling and shaking him up. Then Maxim Chudinov rammed into J.T. Compher in front of the U.S. bench, appearing to leave his feet in the process. However, the check only garnered an interference minor.
Russia’s antics continued at the start of the second period, as Telegin cut to the net off left wing and ran over Kinkaid. Not long afterwards, the U.S. had a good shorthanded chance, but Bobrovski stood firm to deny Brady Skjei on a rebound off the rush.
Russia went up 3-0 at the halfway mark. Mozyakin found Datsyuk in the right faceoff circle with a hard pass, which the captain settled down before setting Telegin up for an easy goal into the wide-open net.
The top-scoring Russian line combined for a beauty to put the game out of reach at 12:49. Vadim Shipachyov sent a clever cross-ice pass to Panarin, setting up a 2-on-1, and the Calder Trophy candidate with the Chicago Blackhawks pulled up before dishing it to Dadonov to bang into the open side.
The U.S. broke Bobrovski’s shutout bid at 14:29 on Vatrano’s power play goal with Patrick Maroon screening in front. However, the Russians answered less than a minute later. Panarin went to the net and converted the rebound from Chudinov’s high shot off the post to make it 5-1.
Mike Condon replaced Kinkaid in the U.S. net to start the third period, but it was too late to make any difference. Vatrano fired a one-timer past Bobrovski at 3:42 for his third goal of the tournament. But a full-fledged U.S. comeback was about as likely as cherry blossoms in December in Yakutsk, Russia’s coldest city.
Mozyakin potted his second goal of the game with 6:47 left, finishing off a lovely centering pass from Datsyuk. And with seven seconds left, Shipachyov rounded out the scoring with a power play goal sweetly set up by Dadonov.”It would have been a good performance for me if we had won the cup,” said Shipachyov, who finished with a tournament-leading 18 points. “But we didn’t, so I can only say I’ve had an OK tournament.”
On only one occasion have the Russians failed to medal as the home team. They disastrously finished 11th at the 2000 IIHF World Championship, the first time St. Petersburg hosted the tournament.
Connor McDavid’s first goal of the world hockey championship proved to be golden.
McDavid’s goal in the first period stood as the winner as Canada successfully defended its world championship title with a 2-0 win over Finland in the tournament final.
The 19-year-old Edmonton Oilers centre had registered eight assists in the first nine games of the tournament, but was one of just two Canadian forwards not to have recorded a goal coming into the gold-medal game.
McDavid ended his drought at the 11:24 mark of the first period, driving to the net and deking out sprawling Finnish netminder Mikko Koskinen.
Matt Duchene added an empty-net goal with one second left on the clock to seal the win.
Max Talbot made 16 saves for his tournament-leading fourth shutout.
Canada came ready to play on Sunday, registering the first seven shots of the game before the Finns fought back with several good chances late in the first period.
Talbot, determined to bounce back from a sub-par personal performance in a 4-0 loss to Finland in the preliminary round, made big saves on Patrik Laine, Jussi Jokinen and Jarmo Koskiranta to help send the Canadians into their dressing room with a one-goal lead at the end of 20 minutes.
In a hard-hitting second period, Canada outshot the Finns by a margin of 13-4. The best Finnish chances came with Mark Scheifele serving a slashing penalty late in the period, when Talbot stopped Koskiranta on the doorstep, then denied Laine as he shot the puck while streaking down the right wing.
In the third, Canada took a page from the playbook of the Finns, who had allowed just eight goals in nine games heading into the final. Canada shut down the opposition with strong defensive play, limiting quality Finnish scoring chances.
Koskinen made 31 saves for the Finns.
Finland came into the final undefeated with a 9-0 record and had a chance to become the first nation ever to win the world under-18 championship, world junior championship and world championship in the same year, but fell one game short.
Canada is the first repeat gold medallist at the world championship since Russia won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009. Canada’s last back-to-back wins came in 2003 and 2004.
With his new gold medal around his neck, Canadian captain Corey Perry became the 27th player to join the esteemed Triple Gold Club, adding a world championship gold medal to his two Olympic golds from 2010 and 2014 and his 2007 Stanley Cup. Perry also won gold at the 2005 world junior championship.
Perry joined an elite group of Canadian hockey players including Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Toews, Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan, Joe Sakic and Rob Blake.
In the bronze-medal game earlier on Sunday, Russia got three points each from Sergei Mozyakin, Artemi Panarin and Pavel Datsyuk in a 7-2 rout of the United States.
Panarin said Russia had played with more freedom after a weight of expectation was lifted following its semifinal defeat to Finland on Saturday.
“I think we just relaxed today,” said Panarin, a Calder Trophy finalist. “Until now … the pressure was serious.”
The U.S. led 30-29 in shots, but Russian goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky produced some impressive saves to protect the lead.
Frank Vatrano scored both goals for the U.S.
“This one stings. Obviously, you don’t like to go out on a losing note,” forward Nick Foligno said. “They just played off their emotion and their power and we didn’t really have an answer.”
The 2016 IIHF Annual Congress assigned the tournaments of the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship program.
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship In Cologne, Germany & Paris, France, 5-21 May 2017 Participants: 14 teams from the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship (including the two co-hosts) and the two promoted teams, Slovenia & Italy.
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A In Kyiv, Ukraine, 22-28 April 2017
Participants: Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Austria, Korea, Ukraine
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B
In Belfast, Great Britain, 23-29 April 2017
Participants: Japan, Great Britain, Lithuania, Croatia, Estonia, Netherlands
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group A In Galati, Romania, 3-9 April 2017
Participants: Romania, Spain, Belgium, Serbia, Iceland, Australia
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group B
In Auckland, New Zealand, 4-10 April 2017
Participants: China, Mexico, Israel, New Zealand, DPR Korea, Turkey
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division III In Sofia, Bulgaria, 11-16 April 2017
Participants: Bulgaria, Georgia, South Africa, Luxembourg, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Hong Kong
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division III Qualification In Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, April 2017
Participants: United Arab Emirates, Chinese Taipei
MEN’S U20 CATEGORY
2017 IIHF World Junior Championship In Montreal & Toronto, Canada, 26 December 2016 – 5 January 2017 Group A: Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland Group B: Russia, USA, Canada, Slovakia, Latvia
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A In Bremerhaven, Germany, 11-17 December 2016
Participants: Belarus, Austria, Kazakhstan, Norway, Germany, France
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group B In Budapest, Hungary, 11-17 December 2016
Participants: Italy, Poland, Great Britain, Ukraine, Slovenia, Hungary
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group A InTallinn, Estonia, 11-17 December 2016
Participants: Japan, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Netherlands, Romania
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group B In Valdemoro or Granada, Spain, 7-13 January 2017
Participants: Korea, Spain, Serbia, Belgium, Australia, Mexico
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division III
In Dunedin, New Zealand, 16-22 January 2017
Participants: China, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Israel, Iceland, Turkey
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division III Qualification In Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, January 2017
Participants: South Africa, Chinese Taipei
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World ChampionshipIn In Plymouth, USA, 1-8 April 2017
Group A: USA, Canada, Russia, Finland
Group B: Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division I Group A
In Graz or Linz, Austria, 15-21 April 2017
Participants: Japan, France, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Hungary
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division I Group B
City TBA, Poland, 8-14 April 2017
Participants: Slovakia, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Italy, China, Poland
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group A
Host to be determined at the Congress in September. Participants: Netherlands, Korea, Great Britain, DPR Korea, Slovenia, Australia
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group B In Izmir, Turkey, 20-26 February 2017
Participants: Spain, Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania, Turkey
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group B Qualification
In Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, 19-25 December 2016
Participants: Hong Kong, South Africa, Bulgaria, Belgium, Chinese Taipei
The International Ice Hockey Federation grows to 77 countries after Indonesia, Nepal and the Philippines have been admitted as new associate members.
Ice hockey has been played inIndonesia, the largest island country of Southeast Asia with over 13,000 islands, since 1996 and been organized by the Federasi Hoki Es Indonesia for several years. Indonesia is the world’s fourth-most populous country with 258 million people, more than half of them living on the island of Java. That’s where the country’s three ice rinks are located.
There are currently five senior clubs and three youth hockey clubs teams involving 112 players. The Sky Rink on the third level of the Mall Taman Anggrek in Jakarta Barat was opened in 1996 and has an ice sheet of 1,248 square metres. In recent years two more rinks opened with Gardenice (800 square metres) in Bandung and the 24-on-55-metre BX Rink at the Bintaro Jaya Xchange Mall in Tangsel in the Jakarta region that has become the country’s premier ice sport facility.
“Becoming a member shows to everyone that anything is possible. A winter sport can grow in tropical countries, more ice rinks can open and more people could enjoy the thrill of ice hockey sport,” said President Joko Widodo. “Our saying here is: the first time you try ice hockey, you will fall. The second time you try ice hockey, you fall in love.”
Nepalis a landlocked country with over 31 million inhabitants in the Himalayas area with China bordering in the north and India in the south. With an ideal climate for ice hockey, the country wants to start organizing the sport in the country. Currently there are no ice rinks but four outdoor inline hockey rinks in the capital of Kathmandu, Pokara, Ilam and Kavree. The association was founded in 2014.
Nepal Ice Hockey Association President Lok Bahadur Shahi handed over a symbolic present to IIHF President Rene Fasel in form of a Khukuri knife, a symbol of Nepalese independence.
“With the support of the government and the IIHF, we are looking to build a new chapter in Nepalese sports with ice hockey,” he gold IIHF.com recently during a visit at the IIHF headquarters in Zurich and hopes that the first ice rink can soon be built in the capital Kathmandu – the land has already been acquired. Currently ice hockey can only be played on natural ice during winter months.
Like Indonesia, thePhilippines are an island country in Southeast Asia consisting of over 7,000 islands and with a population of 100 million people.
211 players from five clubs are registered in the Philippines where four ice rinks can be used, the main one being the SM Mall of Asia Ice Skating Rink in Pasay City next to the capital of Manila. The other ice rinks are at Megamall, Southmall and the Seaside Cebu Ice Skating Rink.
Click on the video link on the right to watch a presentation of ice hockey in the Philippines.
In 2017 the Southeast Asian Games are set to have an ice hockey tournament for the first time ever. The event that has taken place biannually since 1959 will take place in Malaysia and with Indonesia and the Philippines joining previous Southeast Asian IIHF members Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, all these countries could potentially enter a team.
In addition to accepting three new members, the Qatar Ice Hockey Federation – until now an associate member – has been awarded full membership.
The NHL, in most matters, isn’t nearly as xenophobic as it used to be.
There was a time when almost all Europeans were viewed as “soft,” and the prevailing belief about Russian players was that the measure of their talent, however formidable, was measured by the “lesser” medals they won on the international stage rather than North America’s all-important Stanley Cup.
The worst part of this rap may have been that players like the legendary Soviets of the 1980s, veritable pioneers of beauty in the game, were discounted to a certain degree by some observers who lacked a full appreciation of the value of the World Championship, an annual tournament that is overshadowed in North America by the NHL playoffs.
The Worlds are going on now in Russia, and they are strange. The squads from the U.S. and Canada are comprised of a range of NHL players, part of it dependent on who really wants to go to the other side of the globe during their off-season.
You get stars from teams that didn’t qualify for the playoffs, solid players from teams that didn’t qualify for the playoffs, the occasional college kid, and then an influx of guys from teams that got bounced from the playoffs.
Certain players seemed to be there a lot in the past. Like Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne, the long-time Kings star before the Kings became an annual Cup threat.
Wayne Gretzky went once, after the Kings of all teams bounced his Oilers in the epic 1982 Miracle on Manchester upset, as if to see what the deal was with this oft-slighted tournament, and so no one could say there was something he hadn’t led in scoring at least once.
Alex Ovechkin, because his Capitals always under-perform in the spring, and as a Russian he’s more geeked up on the history of these things, puts in an annual appearance.
But what’s interesting is not only how little the Worlds count for, in terms of a prospective Hall of Fame résumé, but also the sense that regularly doing well there can almost work against you if they signify your annual centerpiece championship. True, the Soviets had their bounty of Olympic gold, but they were usually dashing the hopes of college kids and teams that would struggle to place more than a handful of players on the Soviet roster. The degree of difficulty of the Worlds was higher, and so was the price if that was your championship zenith, even if you were a singular talent.
Ask a friend some time, whether they’re, say, someone who is thirty-five or older or just a passionate hockey fan, to name the second best player of the 1980s. You know the inevitable responses. Mario Lemieux. Mark Messier. Some people will say Paul Coffey, maybe Ray Bourque or Denis Potvin. Mike Bossy or Bryan Trottier. Peter Stastny. Maybe a dark horse selection like Denis Savard. Do you know who nobody is going to say? Sergei Makarov, who was, in fact, the second best player of the 1980s.
He is also not a Hockey Hall of Famer. Makarov, a left winger, was part of the famed Soviet Green Unit along with center Igor Larionov (who is in the Hall), right wing Vladimir Krutov, and defensemen Slava Fetisov (another HOF’er) and Alexi Kasatonov, so billed because of the color of the pinnies they’d wear in practice and the way they took the ice as one. When Makarov came over the boards as a forward, out, too, tumbled Fetisov.
Suffice it to say, their approach to the game was unlike anything happening on this continent, and remains so, though it’s fascinating to watch teams like the Blackhawks employ a mini-version of the Green Unit’s flowing style.
Makarov would rip through the neutral zone in two strides—only Paul Coffey was a faster skater at the time—cross into the opponent’s end, then circle back out if he failed to see the lane he wished to find and exploit. In turn, he’d give the puck to someone like Fetisov and then get the pass back to bust up the other side as Krutov now took up the center lane and Larionov trailed the play.
Thirty years ago, at the 1986 Worlds, Makarov was in his prime. The Soviets usually won this tournament, with some member of the Green Unit leading in scoring, but hadn’t done so since 1983. Makarov remedied that with 18 points in 10 games as the Soviets juggernauted it up, but you had the feeling this was a diminished achievement. The North American squads never had a chance to gel, and this was what the Soviets lived for.
But what do we do with Makarov? The Hall of Fame has some big omissions. Normally, a guy has something huge against him, for all of his plusses, and that is why he is sentenced to the fence.
Eric Lindros, for instance, had a truncated career, and there’s a disconnect between what he was expected to do and what he did, fine though the latter was.
Rogie Vachon was never super elite, the clear cut best in the league for a spell, as the Hall likes its goalies to be—people like Gerry Cheevers aside.
But there is no galaxy in which Sergei Makarov is not three times the player Phil Housley was, no offense to a man who was always fun to watch, even though he wasn’t all that consequential.
For a Russian player to really get his due, he had to do something most pronounced on an international stage (like what Vladislav Tretiak and Valeri Kharlamov did at the ’72 Summit Series) or dominate international play and then have at least an average, and not short, career in the NHL. Fetisov and Larionov went the second route, but in a way, Makarov did, too.
He captured the Calder Trophy as a 31-year-old rookie (which resulted in a change in the eligibility rule) with the 1989-90 Calgary Flames, averaging over a point per game, despite playing in a totally different world and in a totally different style than the ones he’d known his entire life. He played six full NHL seasons through the mid-nineties for Calgary, San Jose and Dallas, twice scoring 30 goals, but unlike his fellow former Green Unit buddies Fetisov (nine seasons) and Larionov (14), he wasn’t a part of a Stanley Cup team, even as third line glue or a third D-pairing.
But Makarov was a three time Soviet MVP. Ten times he was named all-league. He was a nine-time scoring champion, a three-time goals leader. Along with his two Olympic golds, his stand-in for the Stanley Cup, you might say, is his 1981 Canada Cup win. Not the same cachet at all. No fault of Makarov’s, but that needs to be redressed.
And if you watch the 1987 Canada Cup final, that epic series between Canada and the Soviets—what might be the best three game stretch of hockey ever played—you will see that there are chunks of those games in which Makarov is the best player on either side.
There’s one shorthanded sequence when linemate Krutov bats the puck out of the air towards neutral ice.
A footrace ensues between Makarov and Bourque, with the former charging on Team Canada’s goal. Bourque was one of the best skaters in the world and Makarov utterly dusts him, then dekes Grant Fuhr clear out of his crease.
The Soviets would lose that tournament, and it wouldn’t earn them the brownie points that their forbears received after their Summit Series defeat.
There was a surprise factor there with the Summit, because no one rated the Soviets a shot at all. By the mid-eighties, they were old news, lovers of the Worlds, that tournament that someone like Brad Marchand, with not enough to do during his off-season, will go to seemingly more for the hell of it than possible hockey glory.
But people tend to forget how hard it is to simply chop wood at the same level, year in, year out, when one is about the best at what one does, with hope of receiving a limited amount of global recognition. There is no better exemplar of that, hockey-wise, than Makarov, and if you want to keep him out of the Hall you might as well snip out everyone from the 1980s not named Gretzky.
Growing up in Canada I was a huge hockey fan, but it wasn't until the 1972 summit series and the 1976 Canada Cup that I became a big fan of international hockey. The best players in world all playing on a sheet of ice.
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