To North American hockey fans, it’s often dismissed as the Consolation Round; the tournament for the also-rans. But that typically myopic New World mentality is not shared by the hockey world back on the Continent.
European hockey fans circle the dates of the annual IIHF World Hockey Championship on their calendar, because while the Stanley Cup is important, so too is being named World Champion. This time around, the fun is being held in Bratislava, and Kosice, Slovakia, from May 10th through to the 26th. The host Slovaks won the Tournament back in 2002, and recently grabbed silver in 2012. It’ll be tough to again find the podium, as they find themselves in Group A, a bracket that also includes Finland, Germany, Denmark, France, and Great Britain (first time since 1994). And two countries by the names of the United States and Canada.
The Americans have never won this tournament, though they were crowned World Champions back in 1960, after capturing the Gold Medal in the Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley. For this tournament, the Yanks are considered one of the favourites, and young phenom Jack Hughes is a key part of the U.S. attack. Hughes is expected to go first overall (to the New Jersey Devils) in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver this June, though Finnish forward Kaapo Kakko would be a nice addition to the New York Rangers as the number two pick. Kakko scored a highlight reel goal against Canada in their opening game, and also added an empty netter.
Hughes and Kakko go head-to-head Monday at 10 am Eastern, when the Americans face off against Finland.
Canada has fared better at the Worlds, having amassed 26 overall Championships, the most recent being in 2016. They got off to a rocky start to this tournament, losing high scoring forward John Tavares to injury before things got underway, then dropping their first game 3-1 to Kaapo Kakko and the Finns.
Group B consists of Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Austria, Italy, and the powerhouse Russians. They last won it all back in 2014, and boast the most overall championships at 27. Sweden are the two-time defending champs, having conquered Switzerland (!) in the Gold Medal game last spring, and Canada the year before that.
SiriusXM NHL Network Radio Channel 91 will air a number of games featuring either the Canadian, or American team, including when they meet face-to-face on Tuesday, May 21st. The Gold Medal Game is set for Sunday, May 26th.
|2019 IIHF World Hockey Championship (Bratislava & Kosice, Slovakia)|
|Teams||Date||Time (ET)||Other Notes|
|Great Britain vs. Canada||Sunday, May 12, 2019||14:00||Kosice|
|USA vs. Finland||Monday, May 13, 2019||10:00||Kosice|
|Slovakia vs. Canada||Monday, May 13, 2019||14:00||Kosice|
|Canada vs. France||Thursday, May 16, 2019||10:00||Kosice|
|Canada vs. Germany||Saturday, May 18, 2019||10:00||Kosice|
|Canada vs. Denmark||Monday, May 20, 2019||14:00||Kosice|
|Canada vs. USA||Tuesday, May 21, 2019||14:00||Kosice|
|Quarterfinal||Thursday, May 23, 2019||10:00||TBD|
|Quarterfinal||Thursday, May 23, 2019||14:00||TBD|
|Semifinal||Saturday, May 25, 2019||9:00||Bratislava|
|Semifinal||Saturday, May 25, 2019||13:00||Bratislava|
|Bronze Medal Game (Only if Canada is playing)||Sunday, May 26, 2019||9:30||Bratislava|
|Gold Medal Game||Sunday, May 26, 2019||14:00||Bratislava|