ICE HOCKEY – This year’s final at the World Ice Hockey Championship will not be as common as last year’s, however it will be the seventh final fixture that has been contested twice in the competition. Tonight, Russia will hope to exact revenge on Slovakia, who won their first and only world title at the expense of Russia in 2002.
The first World Championship in ice hockey was organised back in 1920 as part of the Summer Olympics in Antwerp. Canada thrashed Sweden in the final (12-1). Since then medals were decided in a final round, in which four, six or eight teams played round-robin matches.
Gold medal match
The gold medal match was introduced as late as the 1992 World Championships, when Sweden beat Finland 5-2. The Scandinavian fixture has been the most common since introduction of new format.
Most common finals at World Ice Hockey Championships
4 – Finland and Sweden (1992, 1995, 1998, 2011)
3 – Canada and Sweden (1997, 2003, 2004)
2 – Czech Republic and Finland (1999, 2001)
2 – Czech Republic and Canada (1996, 2004)
2 – Canada and Finland (1994, 2007)
2 – Russia and Canada (2008, 2009)
2 – Russia and Slovakia (2002, 2012)
Note: The gold medal match at Olympic Games was also introduced back in 1992. Since then, only one pair have met twice in the final. It is the all-North American encounter USA – Canada (2002, 2010).
Analysis by Slavko Jeric (find him on Twitter @lavkeri). Slavko regularly contributes to this website. Do you think you can produce the same statistical analysis? Drop us a line at Sportsdesk@infostradasports.com.