• Sweden edition
 
HOCKEY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Co-hosts Sweden hope to snag ice hockey gold

Co-hosts Sweden hope to snag ice hockey gold

Published: 04 May 2012 10:28 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 May 2012 10:28 GMT+02:00

The world's top 16 ice hockey nations square off in the 76th ice hockey world championships starting in Finland and Sweden on Friday.

Sweden's national team opens the tournament in Stockholm against neighbouring Norway, a team which handed Tre Kronor a surprise first-round loss last year.

"I think we just need to go out and play our game. Take charge from the start and get the momentum. If we do that, we will have a good chance of getting a win," Detroit Red Wings star Henrik Zetterberg told the IIHF website.

Reigning champions Finland are trying to overcome the misfortune that has beset hosts of the world championships in recent decades as they seek to become the first team to win gold on home ice since the Soviets in 1986.

They will also try to defend the world title on home ice for the first time since the Soviet's all-conquering Red Machine in 1979.

However, they face tough challenges from hungry pretenders headed by Vancouver Olympic champions Canada, last year's runners-up Sweden and the traditionally strong teams of Russia and Czech Republic dreaming to storm all the way to the top.

Sweden, however, is heading into the tournament having lost an unprecedented six matches in a row after losing 2-3 to the United States in an exhibition match earlier in the week.

"A Swedish national team should never lose this many games in a row," frustrated Tre Kronor head coach Pär Mårts told Sveriges Television (SVT).

Mårts's squad hasn't had a victory since beating Belarus on penalty shots on April 11th.

However, analysts hope the addition of a few NHL veterans like Daniel Alfredsson, whose Ottawa Senators were recently knocked out of the Stanley Cup playoffs, will help give Sweden a boost and ensure a repeat of last year's nightmare opening to the world championships when the team lost to 5-4 to neighbouring Norway, a squad deemed inferior to the perennial Tre Kronor powerhouse.

"Sweden has suffered very few upsets in the history of the world championships against weaker teams," wrote Aftonbladet sports columnist Mats Wennerholm.

"And never twice in a row."

Nevertheless, Wennerholm admitted Norway could defeat Tre Kronor, but added that a loss wouldn't likely prevent Sweden from advancing to the tournament's final rounds.

This year international ice hockey's ruling body IIHF has changed the format of the annual tournament, which will be co-hosted by two countries for the first time in modern history.

And it will be the first time since 1997 that the men's world championship - the biggest annual winter sports event worldwide - will be played with two preliminary round-robin groups with eight teams in each.

Finland's capital Helsinki will stage the championship's matches at the 13,350-seat Hartwall arena, while the group which is based in Stockholm, Sweden, will play its matches at 13,850-seat Globen arena.

The new format sees the top four teams in each group advance into the last-eight round. The quarter-finals will be played within the respective groups as opposed to the cross-over system.

Bottom-placed teams in each group will be relegated to Division One and replaced by Austria and Slovenia in next-year's tournament.

Two quarter-finals will be played in Helsinki and two in Stockholm. Both semi-finals, bronze medal game and the championship's final will be played in Helsinki.

Defending champions Finland are teamed up with both North-American giants Canada and the United States, Switzerland, Slovakia, France and two former Soviet Republics - Belarus and Kazakhstan in the group based in Helsinki.

Stockholm will stage the matches of the other round-robin group comprising the hosts Sweden, Russia, last year bronze medalists Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Latvia, Denmark and Italy.

Zetterberg hopes the pressure of hosting the tournament will once again help Sweden make it to the finals in Helsinki.

"If you don’t have pressure, you won’t play well. It’s part of the game. We’re just going to enjoy it and embrace it and go out and have fun in Globen," he told the IIHF.

This year's world championship will also determine the seeding for the men's Olympic ice hockey tournament in Sochi 2014 for all countries participating in the Olympic qualification campaign.

After the end of the championship nine top-ranked teams will earn a direct entry to the 12-team Olympic tournament in Sochi.

The three other participating teams will be determined in three final Olympic qualification tournaments in 2013.

The championship title winner will be decided in the final in Helsinki on May 20th.

TT/AFP/The Local

Follow The Local on Twitter

Related links:

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Photo: TT

Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains

Torrential rains in western Sweden have left some towns submersed as water levels have risen to 1.5 metres above normal for the season with forecasts indicating that is worse to come. READ  

Ebola crisis
Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund
Photo: TT

Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund

Sweden has offered a new sizeable contribution to the fund set up by UN chief Ban K-moon to fight the Ebola outbreak. READ  

Society
'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme
Photo: Lars-Göran Thuresson/Älgriket

'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme

The Swedish hunting association runs a project to encourage young asylum-seekers to learn about hunting, a move which has proved controversial among some far right groups. READ  

Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

977
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN