The 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be held May 3rd through the 19th, with both Sweden and Finland Hosting. Stockholm and Helsinki will again be the two host cities for the 77th edition of the Ice Hockey World Championships. The two cities hosted the event in 2012 as well. The two host arenas are Ericsson Globe in Stockholm (13,850 seats) and Harwall Areena in Helsinki (13,506 seats).
This year Stockholm will get the honor of hosting the semifinals and medals games of the tournament. This format was used for last year’s World Championship after having not been used since the year 2000.
Russia is the defending champions, having defeated Slovakia 6-2 in the 2012 title game. The Russians finished the tournament undefeated with a record of 10-0-0, becoming the first team to win every game in regulation since the former Soviet Union in the 1989 World Championship. The Czech Republic captured the bronze medal by defeating co-host Finland 3-2. Russian forward and Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin was named most valuable player of the tournament.
The first Ice Hockey World Championship was held as an individual event in 1930. Traditionally ice hockey powers the Soviet Union/Russia and Canada have won the most Ice Hockey World Championship gold medals, with 26 and 24 respectfully, followed by the Czech Republic/former Czhechoslovakia with 12. The two host nations, Finland and Sweden have won 10 gold medals between them with Sweden taking home 8.
This year’s IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship participating nations includes Belarus, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. The tournament will be split into two groups, S and H, corresponding to Stockholm and Helsinki. Russia and Finland are the top seeds in Group H, which also includes the United States and Slovakia. Sweden and the Czech Republic are the top seeds in Group S, which also includes Canada, Norway and Switzerland. The first puck will be dropped in Helsinki on May 3rd with France taking Slovakia. The semifinals and finals are May 18th and 19th at the Ericcson Globe in Stockholm.