IIHF WC preview

IIHF WC preview

07 Feb 2021 | eurohockey.com

2020 was set to be a massive year for sport before coronavirus came along and ruined everything. The pandemic caused the cancellation of a long list of events, including the European football championships, Wimbledon and most notably, the Olympics.


Another event which bit the dust was the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships. Initially scheduled to take place in Switzerland between 8 to 24 May, safety fears saw the tournament called off in March.

In 2021, the IIHF World Championship is back with a bang with 16 teams from across the globe set to battle it out for glory this spring. Want to know more about the tournament? Check out our preview of the action below...

Change of Venue

The tournament was supposed to be co-hosted by Belarus and Latvia, with games being played in the capital cities of each country. However, in January, the IIHF announced that the former was being dropped.

The organization's president, René Fasel explained: “During this process, we had tried to promote that the World Championship could be used as a tool for reconciliation to help calm the socio-political issues happening in the Belarus and find a positive way forward.”

“And while the Council feels that the World Championship should not be used for political promotion by any side, it has acknowledged that hosting this event in Minsk would not be appropriate when there are bigger issues to deal with and the safety and security of teams, spectators, and officials to prioritize.”

How the Tournament is Structured

The preliminary round of the tournament consists of two groups of eight teams who each play each other once. Group A contains: Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus and Great Britain. Meanwhile, Group B will consist of: Canada, Finland, United States, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Italy and Kazakhstan.

Three points are rewarded for a win, two for an overtime victory, one for an overtime loss and zero for a defeat. The top four from each group then progress to the Playoffs, where they are allocated a seeding depending on how many points they registered in the Preliminary Stage.

A series of one-off, straight knockout matches then take place, until just two teams remain. They then do battle in the final.

Who Could Win the 2021 IIHF Championships

The most successful team in the competition's history is Russia. They have won 27 gold medals in total, as well as 10 silvers and 10 bronzes. They are likely to have a good chance of adding to their tally this time out as well.

Another team to look out for is Canada. Not only does the country boast some great online casinos — find out more about that on casino-online-canada.ca — they also possess a very strong team and have won the second most golds in the competition’s history. Reigning champions Finland, as well as Sweden and the United States, also cannot be ruled out as potential winners.

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External links


Czech Rep.:  Tipsport extraliga | 1.liga | 2.liga

Finland:  Liiga | Mestis

Germany:  DEL | DEL2

Russia:  KHL | VHL

Slovakia:  Tipsport Extraliga | 1.liga

Sweden:  SHL | HockeyAllsvenskan

Switzerland:  NLA | NLB

Other:  EBEL | Belarus | Croatia | Denmark | Estonia | France | Great Britain | Iceland | Italy | Latvia | Lithuania | MOL-liga | Norway | Poland | Romania | Serbia | Slovenia | Spain | NHL | AHL |

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