The 86th edition of the World Cup for the highest division begins on Friday, May 12, and for the fourth time it will be a joint tournament between two countries: after the 2012 (Finland, Helsinki, Sweden and Stockholm), 2013 (Sweden, Stockholm, Finland, Helsinki) and 2017 (Germany, Cologne, France, Paris), it’s Finland’s turn again with Tampere and Latvia (Riga). By jointly organizing three out of every four World Cups, the Finnish FA thus holds a record that can hardly be equaled in the short term. Moreover, the Finnish citizen is the head office for the second year in a row; Because of the Red Army’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, FIFA excluded Belarus and Russia from last year’s World Championships, and the latter also canceled the organization of this year’s tournament and assigned it to the Finnish and Latvian federations, which were organizational. The machines have already been put to the test thanks to the 2021 and 2022 tournaments.
Also this year, so far, no Italian TV station has bought the TV rights, and hockey fans will be able to follow the games on the IIHF Youtube channel by connecting to the link. https://www.youtube.com/iihfworlds
there FinlandWorld champions are the team to beat. Will he be able to assert himself? He was the last to succeed in Sweden in 2018, then the Finns and Canada alternated in the list of honors with a loophole caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The hosts can count on the return of Capo Kaku, a revelation from the 2019 event who helped win seven goals and one assist, and Kasperi Kapanen, who has been absent with Legionat since 2018. The roster is mainly made up of players from European clubs. Defense and the best goalkeeper school are their strengths.
In Group A, competitors include United State That comes with a roster made up of a mix of NCAA youths, including Sean Farrell, who was seen at the Beijing Olympics and World Cup last year, Drew Commisso, also in China in 2022 and at the 2021 World Cup, among the notable NHLers The name is that of Nick Bonino , two-time bronze medalist.
there Sweden The lean period that coincided with non-qualification for the playoffs in 2021 and elimination in the quarter-finals in 2022 at the hands of Canada must be cancelled; No easy task with a roster of fifteen players making their finals debuts, but new coach Sam Hallam’s pedigree (three national titles with the Vaccio Lakers) and results on the European Hockey Tour are promising.
Also new boss to GermanyThe union entrusted the seat to Harold Kress, a former assistant to Uwe Krupp. The minimum goal is to reach the quarterfinals, and to achieve this, the coach relies on NHLers Nico Sturm (San José Sharks), JJ Peterka (Buffalo Sabers) and linebackers Moritz Seider (Detroit Red Wings).
On the Denmark The absence of thirty-six-year-old Sebastien Dahm will affect the defense of the cage by Georg Sorensen, Frederic Deschaux and Matthias Seldrup. To fill the experience gap, it’s up to Nikolai Ehlers, the Danes’ only NHLers, and HV71’s Mikkel Bodker, but with twelve seasons in the North American League with the Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators. Staying in the upper division should be a formality.
Whoever thinks more about saving himself than getting to the playoffs is him France; In Tampere introduces four new players, including the intriguing prospect Justin Adamo, all guided by the experience of Sasha Trail and Alexandre Texier, the only one to have played in the NHL.
L’Austria He wants to repeat the closed preliminary round in sixth place, which means staying in the world hockey race. For this purpose, key players such as Peter Schneider, Dominik Heinrich and goalkeepers Bernhard Starkbaum and David Kickert were called up again. To keep an eye on 21-year-old Marco Rossi, the Minnesota Wild promised.
The team most likely to face relegation isHungaryHe returned to the first division after a seven-year absence. Perhaps even the federation does not believe in a possible salvation, which has already made its candidacy official to organize Serie A in the 2024 World Cup, in which Italy will also participate. The Hungarians will miss players who carried their weight in the past, such as injured goalkeeper Mikos Ragna and striker Janos Vass, who retired at the age of 39. The new coach is Kevin Konstantin, coach of Fehervar AV19 for two years, while the most representative player is striker Balazs Sebok, who has grown up playing hockey in Finland and in Ilves Tampere for the past two seasons.
In Group B, four national teams aim for the play-offs, primarily the runners-up Canadawho arrived in Riga with a young, hopeful roster, including Jack McBain (seen at the Beijing Olympics), Adam Fantelli (one of the best prospects in this year’s draft), Joel Hoover and Devon Levy.
there Czech Republic He aims to improve on last year’s third-place finish, which earned him his first bronze medal after a decade of disappointment. The gold medal has been missing since 2010. With an offense weak compared to last year, despite the presence of Dominik Kubalek, Michael Spacek, Philipp Schlapek and Philipp Chitel, it is defense that can make the difference: Simon Hrobek will contest the cage of Marek Langhammer and Karel Vjmelka; Among the defenders, the names of Michal Jordan (six finals, second only to Roman Cervenka in ten) and Jacob Zboril, so far the only one called up by the NHLer, stand out.
Brothers Slovakia It must confirm the positive trend of recent years which has produced a bronze medal in the Beijing Olympics. Young talents such as defender Samuel Knazko and forwards Martin Kromiak, Milos Klimen and Pavol Reginda are supported by the more experienced Peter Cilarik, Marek Hrivik, Libor Hudacek, Richard Panik and Adam Janusic.
Reaching the playoffs is the minimum goal SwissBut he wants to overcome the hurdle of the round of 16, which he has not been able to do since 2018, when he lost his second World Cup final. The oldest players on the list are 39-year-old Andres Ampol (at the 18th World Championship) and thirty-five-year-old Leonardo Genoni. Young players to watch include defenders Tim Bernie and Janis Moser and forwards Nino Niedretter and Dennis Malgin.
Driven by the friendly crowd, the Latvia The loose cannon could be the Riga rally; The playoffs have not been reached since 2018, to reach them they do not lack experience with fifteen players who can boast at least four World Cup finals in their career, Andres Dzirens has twelve. To follow nineteen-year-old Dans Locmelis who shone in the last Under-20 World Cup.
Among the teams that live in the middle is Norway: He hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2012, but at the same time he hasn’t been relegated for 21 years. Coach Tobias Johansson can count on veterans Ken-Andre Olymp, Andreas Martinsen and Emil Martinsen Lilberg, 22, of the Arizona Coyotes.
The discourse of salvation in this congregation is limited to Kazakhstan And SloveniaThe Asians scored several youngsters at the tournament, including 22-year-old Colorado Avalanche Andrei Boyalski. “Evergreen” was presented by Roman Starchenko and Yevgeny Remarev.
The Slovenes, who have an average age of 30, are led by experienced players such as defender Blaz Gregorek and striker Robert Sabulic.
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