2010 IIHF Hockey World Championship
Well the NHL is hockey’s epicenter of action, but every year there is another hockey tournament that is always overshadowed by the NHL playoffs… it’s the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championship.
Prince Hockey Puck
The IIHF has been around just as long as the NHL… in fact just a little bit longer. Hockey is actually a game of royalty as the first ice hockey games in Europe were played at the Prince's Skating Club in Knightsbridge, England, in 1902. In 1905, Belgium and France played two international games on March 4. Three years later, the LIHG (later the IIHF) started up in Paris, France.
The best hockey players in the world play for the NHL, and because the NHL has 82 games plus playoffs from September until June, it’s really hard for any other professional hockey league to get noticed. Well, as team by team become eliminated from the NHL playoffs, more great players have a chance to play in the IIHF World Championship happening right now in Germany for almost the entire month of May.
Rockin Round Robin
The tournament follows the same style of format as the Olympics. Countries are placed into groups and they have to play each other once in a round robin. Then the teams move into another round robin to qualify for the elimination rounds.
Say it’s So Swiss
This year, Switzerland beat Canada for the very first time in 24 games since 1934. History was made with a 4-1 win, thanks in part to the goalie Tobias Stephan and the incredible play of the team’s top line of Ivo Rüthemann-Martin Plüss-Thomas Déruns, all of whom had a goal and two assists (nine total points). It was a huge stepping-stone for Swiss hockey as their team full of non-NHL players defeated the Canadians who all play for the NHL.
It’s hard to watch the games as none of the major television stations cover this tournament, but most of the highlights are viewable on youtube if you’re interested to catch the updates.