Sweden Wins IIHF World Championship

Published on 20-May-2013 by J Square Humboldt

NHL    NHL Daily Update

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Sweden Wins IIHF World Championship

It's the world championsip that plays in the shadow of a legendary cup.

It's where the best hockey players compete after their club teams have been eliminated in their quest for that cup.

It's also where seedings are set for the Olympic hockey tournament, among other events.

It's the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) premier annual event, and this year, Sweden became the first host in 27 years to hoist the trophy after stopping the surprising Swiss, 5-1, at the Globe Arena in Stockholm.

Henrik Sedin struck for two goals and added an assist while Jhonas Enroth (and yes, that's how Scandinavians would get a 'J' sound familiar to English speakers) was 26-for-27 in saves as the Tre Kronor earned their ninth gold medal since the tourney's origin back in 1920. That's a far cry from runaway collectors Russia (26) and Canada (24), which makes this victory all the more cherished in a nation of 9.4million people where hockey is a national passion.

The tourney results vaulted Sweden to the No 1 spot in the IIHF's world rankings, although it was the 2012 standings that determined groups and places for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Switzerland had won all nine of its games coming into the final, continuing an impressive ascent to elite status in the international hockey community. They're now No 4 in the world rankings.

The USA beat co-host Finland in a shootout, after the Finns overcame a 2-0 third period deficit to put the bronze medal game into a 4-on-4 overtime. John Gibson, the 19-year-old Anaheim property who spent this season with the Kitchener Rangers in the junior-level OHL, stopped 36 shots in an impressive performance to lead the Americans to their first medal in nine years.

But the center stage spotlight shone on the Swedes, glistening off their celebratory gold helmets, donned instead of the usual baseball caps with a championship logo. It makes one wonder what Rolex might have done if the Swiss had won.