With the NHL season over for the Tampa Bay Lightning, we tried to focus on several Lightning players who are representing their countries at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia. Over the last two weeks, we kept you up to date with their performance at the tournament, not forgetting about highlights from other games too.
Russia - USA
Both teams were among favorites before the start of the Worlds, but while the Russians went unbeaten in the preliminary stage, the Americans struggled against Slovakia and Canada.
Team Russia took a lead early in the first period, when Nikita Gusev finished the combination after Sergachev’s shot.
Gusev, Sergache,v and Nikita Kucherov combined later for a power play goal. Sergachev scored his first goal at the tournament.
Team Russia goes Globetrotters on Team USA on the powerplay that ends up with Sergachev blasting it home pic.twitter.com/pBDuttlmJJ— The Render (@TheRenderSports) May 23, 2019
The second period was better for the US team. Brady Skjei scored a goal and the Americans were very close to tying the game, but Vasilevskiy was solid in net and didn’t allow any mistakes.
Sergachev added another assist on a Kaprizov goal in the third period. It was the third point of the game for Sergachev.
Nikita Gusev finds Kirill Kaprizov and Russia are back up by two goals! 3:1 is the score. Seconadry assist for Sergachev who gets his 3rd point of the game. #mnwild #VegasBorn #GoBolts pic.twitter.com/pHX8n1NQMr— Aivis Kalniņš (@A_Kalnins) May 23, 2019
The Americans scored two more goals before the end of the game, but team Russia controlled the game and eventually advanced to the semifinals.
Canada - Switzerland
Another thrilling game was played in Kosice. The Swiss had a lead twice after Sven Andrighetto and Nico Hischier goals, but both times the Canadians managed to get back in the game. The second goal was scored with 0.4 seconds left in the game.
The Canadians were luckiest in the overtime, when Mark Stone scored his second goal and sent Team Switzerland home.
Finland - Sweden
Another comeback was completed by team Finland. After scoring in the first period, Finland allowed three goals. William Nylander added another assist on a Klingberg goal.
Petteri Lindbohm and Jani Hakanpaa tied the game in the second period but Sweden took back the lead in the last minute of the second period. Marko Antilla scored an equaliser with one minute to go in the game. The game was decided in the overtime after a Sakari Manninen shot.
Czech Republic - Germany
The first period remained without goals. Jan Kovar scored the first goal of the game in the next period, but the Germans answered with their own goal four minutes later.
The Czechs dominated in the third period, scoring four unanswered goals. Ondrej Palat got his first at the tournament.
The Simon - Voracek - Frolik line goes heavy to the net and regain the lead for @narodnitym #IIHFWorlds #CZEGER— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 23, 2019
Stay up to the minute with game action with the IIHF App:
▶️ https://t.co/yImldTg3TU pic.twitter.com/YqenVN1uOw
Russia - Finland
The game didn’t go well for Russia from the beginning. The Finns were very careful in their defense and didn’t allow many chances at their own end. Despite having some big stars like Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Malkin and Nikita Kucherov, the Russians got outshot in the first period and Andrei Vasilevskiy needed to make stops like this:
Both goaltenders were excellent this game. Kevin Lankinen, who is playing for the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL, played probably his best game of his career. Evgeny Dadonov had the biggest chance to win this game for Russians but Lankinen saved Finland.
Ключевой момент полуфинала - Дадонов не реализует пас Малкина. pic.twitter.com/3TUYKdh8oM— sports_centre (@sportscentre9) May 25, 2019
Captain Marko Antilla scored the game-winning goal for Finland in the third period. Before the end of the game, the Russians pulled the goalie and sent six forwards to save the game but it didn’t help. Once again, team Finland broke the Russian hopes for a gold medal.
Canada - Czech Republic
Just like the Czechs dominated team Germany in the quarterfinals, team Canada dominated the Czechs in the semifinal game. Mark Stone scored his 8th goal of the tournament in the first period. The Czechs had some chances but couldn’t finish any of them. The Canadians scored four more times and returned to the Final game after last year’s absence.
The Czech Republic fourth line were the most dangerous this game and scored the only Czech goal in semifinal.
Bronze Medal Game
Russia - Czech Republic
Mikhail Grigorenko redirected a Sergachev shot and Russia got on the board 13 minutes in, but the Czech Republic answered with two goals before the end of the period.
The Russians tied the game on an Artem Anisimov goal in the second period. After that moment, the Czechs completely outshot team Russia, but Andrei Vasilevskiy was stellar and made 48 stops.
The game was decided in a shootout, when Vasilevskiy stopped all four shots by the Czech team.
Gold Medal Game
Canada - Finland
The Finns needed to complete another comeback after Shea Theodore scored a goal 10 minutes in. Marko Anttila proved again why he was named the captain, scoring an equaliser and a goal, which eventually became the game-winner. Anthony Cirelli and Mathieu Joseph won a silver medal as Team Canada could not complete the comeback.
Team Finland won their first gold medal since 2011 when Slovakia also hosted the World Championship.
And the fans go wild as #Finland @Leijonat wins the ice hockey World Championships! If you're not at the #Helsinki market square, this is how insane it is with THOUSANDS of fans at 1am on Monday morning! #leijonat #mmkisat #MM2019 #IIHFWorlds #suomi pic.twitter.com/KzsBYiZR76— David Mac Dougall (@davidmacdougall) May 26, 2019
Kappo Kakko added another gold medal from the World Championships. He has won it before with the U18, U20 and now with main national team.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has been named the top goaltender of the tournament. Kucherov has been named the top forward of the Worlds.
With 8 goals, Mark Stone was the top goal scorer. He was also named MVP of the World Championship.