Category: World Championships (Page 1 of 12)

Canada rallies to win gold

Canada overcame 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to claim their second gold medal in three years with a 5-2 win over Germany

By Andrew Podnieks –

Patient and calm, Canada scored the only three goals of the third period to break a 2-2 tie and claim their second gold medal in three years, defeating Germany, 5-2, in the final game of the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

Samuel Blais made it 3-2 at 4:51 of the third, backhanding a rebound from in close, and Tyler Toffoli made it 4-2 on a 2-on-1, beating Mathias Niederberger five-hole for the insurance goal. Scott Laughton added an empty netter to seal the deal.

Blais’ goal, his second of the night and sixth of the tournament, was the result of a turnover by Maksymilian Szuber, who was stripped of the puck by Cody Glass behind the Germany goal. Glass tried a wraparound, and Blais took care of the rebound.

Toffoli’s goal was the result of another German error, this by Marcel Noebels, who moved into the slot in Canada’s end only to fan on a great scoring chance that might have tied the game. Instead, Toffoli claimed the lose puck and went up ice to score.

“It’s the team that wins, said assistant captain Milan Lucic, playing in his firstt World Championship. “We had a really good team that came together, and that’s why we’re champions. I always believed in this group. I think that was a big part of us winning the gold medal. Anytime Canada is in a tournament, we expect to win gold, Canadians expect us to win gold, so it’s nice to bring another championship home. The people of Canada really love and appreciate it.”

“I think we can be so proud of what we did here as Germans, after coming in here, losing the first three games,” said JJ Peterka. “And then with our backs to the wall, having a do-or-die game every game and coming together like that. Coming back late in the third against the U.S. just showed how much how much we wanted it. And today we wanted to [do it again], but sometimes it doesn’t happen. We were just so close. We were in the game in the third period. I think at the end, little mistakes kind of like cost us the game. Canada is too good. They took advantage of that and scored two goals.”

Canada has now been in 13 of the last 21 gold-medal games, winning seven, and has earned a medal in each of the last four years (two gold, two silver). In all, this is gold number 22 in the stand-alone World Championship history.

Today’s win was espeically notable for 18-year-old Adam Fantilli, who becomes just the second Canadian and 11th player to win World Junior gold and World Championship gold in the same season.

For Germany, the loss is a bitter pill to swallow, but the silver medal is their first at the World Championship since 1953 (when only three teams competed). In all, Germany has now won three silver medals (1930, 1953, 2023) and one bronze (1934), so this year’s achievement is nothing short of extraordinary.

“It’s something I can’t really describe right now,” said MacKenzie Weegar, the tournament’s leading scorer among defenders. “I’m just trying to take it all in at the moment. But right from training camp in Budapest, to Riga, to here it’s just been a really surreal experience and it’s all worth it with a gold medal around my neck. There were lots of bumps. Slovakia in OT, we lost to the Swiss, we lost to Norway. We had to come together and learn as a team. We stuck with it, we learned from our mistakes and we came out on top.”

Germany had the better start right from the opening faceoff, showing more interested in getting the puck deep and chasing it down. Canada looked tentative and unsure, and didn’t look particularly intent in playing in the offensive end. Slowly but surely, though, the game opened, and Germany struck first. 

Moritz Seider fired a long pass to JJ Peterka at the Canada blue line. He brought the puck under control and went in alone, snapping a shot under the glove on Samuel Montembeault at 7:44 to make it 1-0. Canada coach Andre Tourigny’s staff thought the play might have been offside and requested a coach’s challenge, thinking Peterka’s skates were inside the blue line as he tried to control the puck, which was right on the line. The video review favoured Germany, and Canada had to play a man down as well.

They weathered that storm and tied the game soon after off the rush. Jake Neighours made a pass in centre ice that hit a skate and bounced fortuitously to Peyton Krebs, and he went in on a 2-on-1 with Blais, who wired a shot high over Niederberger’s shoulder after getting the perfect feed from Krebs at 10:47.

Play turned tepid as the second period began as teams didn’t want to open up and leave themselves vulnerable. It became apparent this was going to be a low-scoring game, and goals would be hard to come by. Germany took the lead at 13:47 on a weird play. They tried to clear the puck in deep from centre but it hit a player at the blue line, then hit another man in front after an errant pass. But then it landed on the stick of Daniel Fischbuch, and he beat Montembeault before anyone knew what had happened.

But as in the first, Canada didn’t panic and tied the score less than four minutes later, on the power play. It was Krebs again who was the set-up man, this time finding Lawson Crouse in front, inside Germany’s defensive box. Crouse just redirected Krebs’s pass past Niederberger’s glove at 17:28.

In the third, it was all Canada, looking poised and confident, their experience in pressure games evident. It seemed just a matter of time before they would go ahead, and Blais provided the gold-medal-winning goal in due course.

Even at the end, when coach Harold Kreis pulled Niederberger for a sixth skater with 3:21 to play, Canada never looked like they would surrender the lead, and at 18:06 Laughton hit the empty net to start Canada’s celebrations early.

“I think it was an even fight, and if we learn from our mistakes, I think we’ll be in a good position in the upcoming years,” said Moritz Seider, the team’s young star on the blue line. “We haven’t done this in 70 years, so nobody can take that away from us. We made history today. The team made history, and I’m really proud of every one of us.”

Latvia wins historic bronze in OT

The Latvian team rejoices after a 4-3 overtime win over the U.S. in the bronze medal game of the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, Finland – Latvia.

By Lucas Aykroyd –

Kristians Rubins scored the late equalizer and the sudden-death winner at 1:22 as Latvia rallied to stun the U.S. 4-3 for the bronze medal at the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, Finland – Latvia. It’s the small Baltic nation’s first IIHF medal ever.

“For the big teams like Canada, this is what they do,” said an ecstatic Miks Indrasis. “They win medals all the time. But for us, it’s like a one-time opportunity. This is unreal.”

In overtime, Latvian captain Kaspar Daugavins carried the puck into the U.S. zone and put a backhanded pass off defenceman Lane Hutson’s skate. The puck came to Rubins and he wired it high for a goal that will never be forgotten.

The Latvian party in Tampere is on, and the party in Riga may never end.

“I’m lucky that I’m a hockey player in Latvia because the people there love hockey so much,” said Martins Dzierkals. “To be a hockey player at this time, I have no words.”

Buoyed by incredible fan support at Nokia Arena on Sunday, the Latvians wanted this historic bronze badly. They played with heart and desperation, taking two first-period leads and then tying it up with under six minutes left in regulation time.

The challenge for the Americans was to get up emotionally after failing to end their 90-year Ice Hockey World Championship gold medal drought. The tournament’s highest-scoring team played hard all night, but fell short. It’s a disappointing outcome after going unbeaten in their first eight games.

“Hockey’s a game of inches,” said U.S. assistant captain Alex Tuch. “Anyone can be beaten on any given day and Latvia got it today and they beat us.”

Both sides were coming off tough semi-final losses. The Latvians led Canada 2-1 through 40 minutes, but fell 4-2. The U.S. faced even greater heartbreak, leading Germany 3-2 with under two minutes left but losing 4-3 in sudden-death overtime.

The U.S.’s Rocco Grimaldi stepped up with two goals in the bronze battle. Grimaldi also scored twice when the U.S. beat Sweden 3-1 in the 2013 World Junior final, the 30-year-old forward’s last IIHF experience.

“You could see what this means to them,” Grimaldi said of Latvia. “I think they probably wanted it little more than we did. We said after the first period, we have to want it as much as they do because they’re playing like it was for a gold medal, not just a bronze. I don’t think we matched their intensity for the full 60.”

It was a fine goaltending showdown between Casey DeSmith and Arturs Silovs. The Latvian workhorse played in all 10 of his team’s games and carried his team to the medals day.

The U.S. outshot Latvia 29-25.

This result is Latvia’s best by a country mile. It’s the first time they’ve ever even played for an IIHF medal. Previously at the Ice Hockey World Championships, they peaked at seventh place in their 1997 debut (Finland), as well as in 2004 (Czechia) and 2009 (Switzerland).

From puck drop, the vibe was jacked up with 11,033 spectators going wild.

As the Latvian fans chanted thunderously and pounded drums, the Americans came out hard and physical. The diminutive Grimaldi nearly knocked Rodrigo Abols into the U.S. bench and Conor Garland laid a glancing hit on Rihards Bukarts that left the veteran forward clutching his face in pain.

On the first power play, Latvia opened the scoring at 7:49 with magic from the Bukarts brothers. Rihards, who’d finish with three assists, slipped the puck cross-crease from the goal line and Roberts roofed it past a helpless DeSmith.

Less than two minutes later, Grimaldi struck back with the equalizer. Flying in to take a pass from Scott Perunovich, he got Silovs moving laterally and then fired the puck from the right faceoff circle inside the far post.

At 16:08, Janis Jaks put Latvia up 2-1, following up on a flashy solo drive by Rihards Bukarts to poke a loose puck past DeSmith’s right skate.

Grimaldi tied it up again with a power play one-timer from the left side with 0:57 left in the first period. It tied him with 19-year-old Cutter Gauthier for the U.S. goals lead (seven).

The Latvians brought in the tournament’s best penalty kill (96.5 percent efficiency), and this was the first power play goal they’d conceded since falling 6-0 to Canada on Day One.

In the second period, Silovs held down the fort as shots favoured the U.S. 10-3. It remained loud and crazy, including an ovation for Latvian president Egils Levits, who was in attendance.

“Obviously it’s something special when the president flies in just to watch the game and we can show him this,” said Daugavins.

At 6:19 of the third period, after a faceoff in the Latvian zone and a Dylan Samberg point shot, Matt Coronato snared a loose puck at the side of the net and fired it home for a 3-2 U.S. lead.

The Latvians kept battling, and Kristians Rubins fooled DeSmith with a shot that slipped through Garland’s attempted shot-block at 14:21 to make it 3-3, sending the arena into a frenzy. Abols nearly ended it with an exciting rush off right wing in the dying moments of the third.

“We just had to push to score, you know,” said Dans Locmelis. “We were down but we still believed in each other and that’s the biggest part of our team.”

The Americans will resume their quest for their first Ice Hockey World Championship gold medal since 1933 at the 2024 tournament in Czechia (Prague and Ostrava).

For Latvia, 2023 will always be cherished as a year where they beat the odds on home ice and then in Finland, making their loyal supporters rapturously happy. Their hunger for more medals is sure to rise now too.

“I don’t think we’re going to be coming in aiming for the medals every year,” said Abols. “Small steps are our goal, but I hope this inspires the people who play hockey. And also, the people who have the 9-to-5 jobs who come out and cheer for us. Hopefully, it inspires them to be better every day.”

IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship 2023: Preview


Co-hosts Finland will look to retain their men’s world title when the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship begins in Tampere and Riga, Latvia, from 12–28 May.

The Leijonat (Lions) did the rare Olympic Games–World Championship double last season, and the reigning world and Olympic champions will seek to hold off challenges from all sides once again.

National Hockey League (NHL) players are eligible to play in the World Championship as long as their NHL franchise is no longer involved in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and those players could well make the difference again this year.

Teams and players to watch at the 2023 Men’s IIHF World Championship

Group A will play at the Nokia Arena in Tampere, which was only opened in November 2021 and also served as a host venue for last year’s World Championships. That indoor stadium holds over 13,000 people and is the main arena for the championships, also holding two quarter-finals, both semi-finals, and both medal games. In Group A are Austria, Denmark, hosts Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, and the United States.

Group B, meanwhile, will be based in Riga at the Arena Riga, a stadium well used to hosting the IIHF World Championships having done so in 2006 and again in 2021. Some 14,500 spectators can fit in the arena, which will host Group B games along with two quarter-finals. The teams in Group B are Canada, Czechia, Kazakhstan, hosts Latvia, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland.

Group A

FinlandSweden, and the United States are the front-runners to qualify from Group A, with Germany and Denmark likely contesting the fourth spot between them.

While the Finns are defending champions, they will be without Patrik Laine, the Columbus Blue Jackets forward who suffered an injury towards the end of the NHL season and has opted out of the world championships to focus on recovery. Meanwhile, veteran forward Valtteri Filppula, who captained Finland to double gold last year, has not been selected for this year’s team. They will instead rely on the Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen as one of the side’s strongest players this year.

On Team Sweden, the Anaheim Ducks’ Jakob Silfverberg – a Sochi 2014 Olympic silver medallist – is the most experienced head with an NHL background on the team’s extended 27-man preliminary list. Other NHLers include Rasmus Sandin and 21-year-old hotshot winger Lucas Raymond.

The United States have named a team mostly centred on players in the minor American Hockey League as well as college teams, with two-time Stanley Cup winner Nick Bonino the most experienced name on the squad. With yet another inexperienced and experimental squad, the Americans’ gold-medal drought might continue. They haven’t won World gold since clinching Olympic gold in 1960 that doubled as the world title. Indeed, they haven’t even reached the gold-medal game at a Worlds since then, although they did win bronze in 1996, 2004, 2013, 2015, 2018, and 2021.

Group B

Over in Group B, Canada are the favourites to win the group, even with a relatively young squad. An exception to that is the 34-year-old Milan Lucic, in line to make his World Championship debut for the Canadians.

Tyler Toffoli, who scored a personal-best 34 goals in the NHL this season, will help lead the front three. The 31-year-old Calgary Flames winger should help provide some experience, having won World gold in 2015. Additionally, World Junior Championship gold medallist Adam Fantilli – projected to be drafted second overall in this year’s NHL Draft – is in the squad and could raise his own stock even higher. In defence, Canada will rely on 34-year-old Brad Hunt to bring his know-how to the ice.

CzechiaSlovakia, and Switzerland all pose significant threats to the Canadians in this group. The Czechs have both Filip Chytil (22 goals for the New York Rangers) and Dominik Kubalik (20 goals for the Detroit Red Wings) among their forward group to provide the firepower. There is bad news for Slovakia however, as the breakout star from Beijing 2022 Juraj Slafkovsky has been excluded from the side after failing to recover from an injury sustained in January while playing for the Montreal Canadiens. Switzerland’s Nino Niederreiter is perhaps the most recognizable NHL name on a roster full of experience, mostly playing in the Swiss league.

Great Britain deliver World Championship gold and fairytale farewell for Sheffield Steelers’ Jonathan Phillips

Brett Perlini celebrates scoring Great Britain’s opener against Italy

By Phil Harrison – Yorkshire Post

But over the past seven days in Nottingham, Great Britain managed to do that. And then some.

The fairytale ending that everyone connected with the national team wanted for captain Jonathan Phillips was delivered, the Sheffield Steelers’ skipper bowing out of his international career on the ultimate high of leading his team back to the elite group of powerhouse hockey nations such as Canada, Sweden and Finland.

Five games, five wins. The only blemish – if it could be called that – was not putting Poland away in 60 minutes on the second day of the Division 1A tournament at the Motorpoint Arena.

But they got the job done in overtime, the same as they got the job done overall – the party atmosphere that followed Friday night’s deserved 5-3 win over Italy a stark contrast to the tears that were shed when they came down from the top pool after three years just under 12 months ago in Finland.

With Poland having taken care of business earlier in the day against Romania – as expected – it meant the hosts and their Italian opponents went into the final game knowing only one of them would be returning at the first attempt.

Home ice is clearly an advantage at such events but, by the same token, it can also bring with it added pressures, greater expectations.

GB had dealt with that situation well all week but, with everything on the line it was always going to be the toughest examination of their top-tier credentials so far.

The chanting from the sellout home crowd started before the first puck was dropped and it hardly relented all night.

The crowd got their reward just over five minutes in when the hosts went on the power play for the first time following a hooking call on Italy’s Phil Pietroniro.

The man advantage was only 13 seconds old when Mike Hammong took the puck from Evan Mosey and picked out Brett Perlini to poke it home at the back post.

Johnny Curran almost doubled the lead when firing from the right circle following a break by Josh Waller but the next goal came at the other end.

A delayed penalty call gave Italy the extra skater and they used it well, creating space for captain Thomas Larkin to fire through traffic from centre ice just inside the blue line, his effort taking at least one deflection on its way past Ben Bowns and into the net at 11.21.

Ben O’Connor and then Mike Hammond saw shots blocked shortly after as GB tried to hit back quickly when Liam Kirk showed his agility to drive behind the back of the Italy net.

It wasn’t too long into the second period, however, before the GB crowd were on their feet again, only 59 seconds having elapsed before Cade Neilson deceived Fazio by looking to pass across the front of net before steering the puck through the Italian netminder to make it 2-1.

But the Italians refused to go away and were level again just over three minutes later, Alex Petan driving the puck through Bowns from 10 yards out as he fell to the ice off-balance at 24.34.

The scoring pattern continued for the rest of the period, but it was a special goal which put the hosts ahead for a third time when Hammond received the puck at the bottom of the left circle from Ollie Betteridge before proceeding to deceive Fazio by sending him the wrong way and backhanding home into the exposed net from a tight angle to make it 3-2 at 28.43.

But, like a bad smell, Italy came back once more, Daniel Perli showing great composure to fire past Bowns’s left shoulder to drag his team level for a third time at 34.29.

It seemed as if GB were simply unable to press home their advantage any further when forging ahead each time, something they did for a fourth time when – on a delayed penalty – Kirk found Hammond in the left circle again and, in an almost carbon copy of the opening goal, he picked our Perlin at the back post to tap home again at 35.57.

Now the challenge was building on that lead and making it tougher for their opponents to get back in the game.

But they couldn’t pull clear, although they were able to keep the Italians at bay, with Bowns hardly tested at all during the third period.

Mike Keenan’s team huffed and puffed but failed to create any meaningful clear-cut chances.

In the end, the only goal in the final 20 minutes came at the other end, good hassling by Kirk turning the puck over behind the Italy goal, before he laid it back into the path of Neilson who, with Fazio having been pulled with over two minutes remaining, stroked it home to finally give GB the two-goal cushion they had craved all night.

It was a cushion they were not going to let go of.

Poland earn promotion to top tier of men’s hockey

Poland have secured promotion to the top tier of men’s ice hockey after a hiatus of more than two decades.

Source: Polskie Raido

The Polish team finished runner-up, behind hosts Great Britain, at the championship, which was held in Nottingham  from April 29 to May 5th

The Polish men’s national ice hockey team won four matches in the tournament, defeating Lithuania 7-0, Italy 4-2, South Korea 7-0, and Romania 6-2, according to the Polish Ice Hockey Federation (PZHL).

The Poles, coached by  Slovak Robert Kalaber , lost to Great Britain 4-5 in extra time, the Polish Ice Hockey Federation said.

The Polish team went into the tournament  ranked 22nd in the world by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

Poland are returning  to the elite pool after a hiatus of more than two decades, news outlets reported.

“It’s really amazing,” said  Poland captain Krystian Dziubiński. “I’ve been waiting for Poland to go back to the top division since I was a kid.”

Forward Alan  Ł yszczarczyk said:  “It’s awesome. I’ve been working for this my whole life. We all have. Now the dream has come true for everyone.”

Poland will face off against the likes of Canada, the  United States, Sweden and Finland at next year’s  IIHF Ice  Hockey World Championship in Czechia.

Japan wins Group B, earns promotion

By  Derek O’Brien –

Japan capped off a perfect Division I Group B tournament with a victory over Ukraine in the last game. As a result, Japan has earned a promotion to Group A next season. Led by two power-play goals from Yushiroh Hirano, Japan built up a 5-0 lead and then held on to win 5-3 before a largely pro-Ukrainian crowd of 3870.

“I don’t care how we play, just as long as we win this one,” said Hirano, holding the gold first-place trophy. “I appreciate the work of my teammates and the coaching staff too.”

The Ukrainians, who had won three in a row after opening with a 5-4 overtime loss to China, could have finished first with a regulation win and were not badly outplayed in the game, but failed to capitalize on their chances until it was too late. Ukraine outshot Japan 33-29 in the game.

“It was a hard game for us,” said Ukrainian head coach Vadym Shakhraichuk. “I believed until the last second that we could come back but Japan was unbelievable. Only second place this year but maybe next season we can win first place.”

Kento Suzuki opened the scoring just shy of the eight-minute mark. Right off a faceoff, he leaned into a one-timer that hit a Ukrainian player and bounced down off the ice, fooling Bogdan Dyachenko.

The next bad break for Ukraine came late in the first period when Dymitro Nymenko was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding. With 31 seconds left in the period, Hirano struck for the first time, teeing up a slapper from the point that went over Dyachenko’s glove.

Early in the second period, two straight Japanese penalties gave Ukraine plenty of power-play time and 34 seconds of 5-on-3. They moved the puck well but the Japanese penalty-killers were relentless, blocking numberous shots, including one that robbed Danil Trakht of what looked like a sure empty-net goal.

“Every single player sacrificed himself, that’s why we won this game,” said Hirano.

And then two nearly identical goals 21 seconds apart put Japan in firm control. The first was another power-play goal by Hirano and the second was by Kenta Takagi, both lasers over the glove. At that point, Dyachenko was lifted in favour of Eduard Zakharchenko.

Less than a minute later, just past the game’s midpoint, Ukraine appeared to get on the board but Japanese coach Perry Pearn challenged for goaltender interference, which was upheld.

“I looked up and saw the replay on the board and that made me really confident to call it,” said Pearn. “It looked pretty obvious to me, so it was an easy call and we’d been killing penalties pretty well anyway, so we were confident.”

In the first minute of the third period, Ukraine suffered another bad break when Zakharenko charged out of the net to play the puck, but his clearing attempt hit the chest of Japan’s Kosuke Otsu and bounced into the net to make it 5-0.

Cue the Ukrainian comeback attempt.

On the power play with 14:48 to play, Olexi Vorona’s fifth of the tournament finally got Ukraine on the board. Then it was Ukraine’s turn to get a lucky bounce when Yuta Narisawa stopped Vitali Lialka’s shot and played the rebound to teammate Takagi, who inadvertently played the puck into his own net.

Finally, Illia Korenchuk found the top corner with 3:27 to play and it was suddenly, and surprisingly, a two-goal game.

“We opened the door a little bit with the penalty, and they pushed and pushed.” said Pearn. “Ukraine, you gotta give them credit, they played hard till the end.”

Zakharchenko came out of the net for a sixth attacker as the Ukrainians went for it all, but although they furiously attacked the Japanese net, they simply ran out of time.

Chinese Taipei won the first gold medal

The Chinese team went to South Africa to participate in World Championships Division III Group A and won the first gold medal in team history.

Source: United Daily News

Chinese Taipei ice hockey team has been reporting success. In April last year, it first won the U18 World Ice Hockey Championship Division III Group A . This year, it challenged the  U18 World Championships Division II Group B for the first time and won the bronze medal . The men’s  team won the IIHF World Men’s Championship Division III Group A gold medal in Group A. This is the best result in the team’s 16 year history.

Chinese Taipei established the Ice Hockey Association in 1983, and began to challenge the U18 World Ice Hockey Championship in 1999, and the Men representative team was not established until 2007. Weifeng Zong, secretary-general of the Chinese Ice Hockey Association, mentioned that the first game to played for the Men was in 2008 Challenge Cup of Asia In Hong Kong. “The Challenge Cup held in Asia is for teams that cannot participate in the official championship . The Asian Federation invited us to sign up for the World Championships in 2017, and then we started to participate in the World Championships.”

It was only in 2017 that we began to challenge the world powers. The Chinese team’s journey to the World Championships was suspended for two years due to the  pneumonia epidemic, and almost all the players were “slash” part-time players. They worked during the day and trained at night.  Our first  game in the Championship was against Thailand 11:2 win, the we beat South Africa 6:1, The their game we defeated Luxembourg 10:0, and defeating Turkmenistan 3:1 in the final battle, winning the first place in team history with a complete victory World Championship gold medal.

The World Championships are divided into four levels, which are divided into groups A and B. Although the Chinese team won the first place in the third level, it is still uncertain whether they can be promoted. Weifeng Zong, explained that due to the impact of the epidemic, some countries did not participate or withdrew from the competition. The formal grouping will not be clear until the annual meeting in May of this year.

The Chinese Taipei team achieved great results and we hope to continue our journey to the top in the the future.

UAE emerge unbeaten champions at IIHF World Championship Division 2

The UAE won the IIHF World Championship Division 2 Group B at the Zaytinburnu Ice Rink in Istanbul.

By Amith Passela – The National

The UAE Ice Hockey team continued their progress up the rankings with a historic triumph in the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championship Division 2 Group B in Turkey.

They defeated Mexico 9-4 in their final game to emerge unbeaten champions in the six-team competition at the Zaytinburnu Ice Rink in Istanbul on Sunday.

Artem Klavdiev put the UAE ahead in the opening minute and then Luka Vukoja and Sergei Kuznetsov stretched their advantage to 3-0 in the first period to set the platform.

UAE captain Juma Al Dhaheri added a fourth early in the second period before Mexico struck twice through Alejandro Apud and Angel Tapia to close the gap to 4-2.

Daniel Cuellar struck for Mexico three minutes into the third and final period to reduce the deficit further to a solitary goal but Al Dhaheri and Kuznetsov were on target for the UAE to regain the three-goal advantage.

Eduardo Valencia pulled one back but that was as close Mexico got, as the UAE struck thrice in the closing stages courtesy Kuznetsov, Klavdiev and Maxim Zakharau to seal the match and the championship title.

Belgium finished second ahead of Bulgaria, New Zealand, Turkiye and Mexico in that order.

Earlier, the UAE outclassed Turkey 8-0, edged out Belgium 4-3, defeated New Zealand 7-1, and overcame Bulgaria 7-2.

Last year, the UAE won the Division 3 Group A in Luxembourg for their promotion to Division 2.

“Winning an IIHF World Championship title for the second year in succession is a remarkable achievement and it is indeed a clear indication of the progress we have made,” Al Dhaheri said.

“We work closely with the IIHF to develop the sport in the country. We have a strong domestic league with full-time foreign players. It is getting better and better every passing year, and the success we have had is due to the continuity of the development strategies in place.”

S. Korea earns promotion in women’s hockey world championship

South Korean women’s national team participating in the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship Division I Group B at Suwon Ice Rink in Suwon, 35 kilometers south of Seoul.

By Yoo Jee-ho – Yonhap News Agency

South Korea has earned a promotion to the next level in the women’s hockey world championship, after completing an undefeated run through the third-tier championship with a narrow win on home ice Sunday.

South Korea edged past Kazakhstan 2-1 to clinch first place at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championship Division I Group B at Suwon Ice Rink in Suwon, some 35 kilometers south of Seoul. By winning the tournament, South Korea has booked a spot in the next-highest women’s competition in the IIHF, Division I Group A, for 2024.

It will be South Korea’s debut at that level.

Forward Kim Hee-won broke the 1-1 deadlock with 3:37 left in the third period, as she walked in from the right point for a wrist shot to the top left corner past goalie Arina Chshyokolova.

South Korea outshot Kazakhstan 41-18 in its fifth consecutive victory.

South Korea finished with 14 points from four regulation wins and one overtime win. Italy and Poland were scheduled to play the tournament finale Sunday evening, and Italy, in second place at the start of Sunday with 10 points, can’t catch South Korea even with a regulation win over Poland.

The Division I Group A tournament for 2023 will take place in China in August. The last place from that six-nation competition will trade places with South Korea and end up in Division I Group B for 2024.

South Korea first joined Division I Group B in 2018, one year after winning the Division II Group A tournament.

In 2018, South Korea finished one point behind Italy for first place in Division I Group B. It once again finished in second place the following year, though six points behind the winner, the Netherlands. The 2020 and 2021 tournaments were canceled due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and South Korea barely avoided relegation in 2022 by finishing fifth among six teams.

Carried by still-improving veterans from 2018 and rising teenagers, South Korea opened this year’s tournament with a dramatic, 2-1 overtime victory over Italy, considered the toughest opponent here. South Korea then dispatched Poland 4-0, Slovenia 4-2 and Britain 3-2, setting itself up for Sunday’s drama.

Though Kazakhstan had long been eliminated from contention here with four straight losses prior to Sunday, the team kept South Korea at bay for most of the game, after the teams traded goals in the opening frame.

Han Soo-jin’s power play goal opened the scoring for South Korea about four minutes into the game. Park Jong-ah delivered a diagonal pass from behind the net in the exact same pattern that they’d used for a goal in the Slovenia game from Tuesday.

Kazakhstan tied things up some five minutes later on a goal by Larissa Sviridova.

It was all South Korea from there. The home team outshot Kazakhstan 15-3 in the second period but couldn’t put one past Chshyokolova. A perfectly-placed wrist shot by Kim just after a penalty expired late in the final frame finally put South Korea ahead for good.

Han and Kim, the two goal scorers Sunday, finished tied for the team lead with four goals apiece.


Knight, U.S. prevail 6-3 over Canada to claim women’s hockey world championship gold

USA forward Hilary Knight, center, celebrates her goal with teammates during third period IHF Women’s World Hockey Championship gold medal hockey action against Canada in Brampton, Ont.

Source – Canadian Press

Hilary Knight scored the go-ahead goal as part of a hat trick in leading the U.S. to a 6-3 gold-medal victory over Canada at the world women’s hockey championship on Sunday.

Abbey Murphy, Caroline Harvey and Cayla Barnes added the other goal for the U.S. Aerin Frankel earned the win in goal as the Americans won their 10th world title.

Brianne Jenner, with two goals and an assist, and Marie-Philip Poulin, with a goal and an assist, scored for Canada. Ann-Renee Desbiens took the loss in net.

Jenner has five goals across the last three world championship gold-medal finals. The Oakville, Ont., native had both of Canada’s goals in a 2-1 win over the U.S. last year and one in Canada’s 3-2 overtime victory in 2021.

The two sides have met in every world championship gold-medal final since the tournament’s inception in 1990 except for 2019, when the U.S. defeated Finland and Canada settled for bronze.

Czechia defeated Switzerland 3-2 in the bronze-medal game earlier on Sunday. The 2024 worlds will be held in Utica, N.Y., from April 4-14, USA Hockey announced Sunday afternoon.

The Americans almost opened the scoring just under five minutes in when Lacey Eden sent a backhand on net that almost trickled in from beneath Desbiens’s pads, but the netminder kept it out.

Twenty-five seconds after Hayley Scamurra was sent to the penalty box for hooking, Eden joined her for a delay of game after sending the puck into the crowd from the U.S. zone.

A mere 14 seconds later, Canada struck on the 5-on-3 power play. Poulin scored on a one-timer from the right faceoff circle on a dish from Erin Ambrose 6:23 into the first period.

Murphy knotted the contest with 1:59 left in the first. She took the puck on a dish from Alex Carpenter, put a toe drag move to get around a diving Ambrose and sent it five-hole on Desbiens.

Coming out of a successful penalty kill early in the second period, Canada came out firing with scoring chances. After a few misses, Jenner scored from the point on a dish from Renata Fast 5:03 into the frame.

Knight tied the contest 8:30 into the second. Amanda Kessel drove into Canada’s zone on a 2-on-1, got around a diving Ella Shelton, and sent the puck across to Knight, who tapped it in.

Jenner doubled her scoring total just 69 seconds later. She tipped in a point shot from Fast to make it 3-2 for Canada.

Harvey tied the game 5:40 into the third period. She moved in from the point, made Blayre Turnbull bite on a fake and sent a wrist shot that beat Desbiens glove side.

Knight gave the Americans their first lead of the game with 3:10 left in the third. She scored on a 5-on-3 power play after Jenner (tripping) and Claire Thompson (delay of game) were sent to the penalty box.

Twenty-seven seconds later, Knight completed her hat trick to give the U.S. a two-goal lead. With 1:58 remaining, Barnes furthered the Americans’ advantage with an empty-netter.

Sarah Fillier of Canada was named tournament MVP. She had seven goals and four assists in seven games.

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