As the Stanley Cup Playoffs heat up, another hockey tournament is taking shape on an international scale: the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship.
Finland took home their third Gold Medal in the 2019 games, and since the 2020 tournament was canceled due to coronavirus, they are still technically the defending champions. The 2021 annual tournament is currently being held in Latvia, and since the tournament started on May 21, the action has been getting more and more intense.
Teams are separated into two groups, A and B. The United States are in Group B, and with players born between 1987 and 2002, they possess an interesting combination of youth/energy and poise/experience. They sit at second in the group (with 12 points) behind only Finland (13 points). In Group A, Slovakia leads the pack with 12 points themselves, tied with ROC who also have 13.
The World Anti-Doping Agency banned Russia from international competition due to PED issues last year. Russian athletes will instead compete under the moniker of Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).
Bracket play for the tournament will begin on Wednesday, June 3.
With dozens of NHL prospects putting their hearts on their sleeves as they suit up for their national teams, the IIHF Championship is sure to dazzle. Here’s what you need to know about the remainder of the tournament:
When is the 2021 IIHF World Championship Finals?
The 2021 IIHF World Championship Finals began on May 21 and will end with the gold medal match at 1:15 p.m. EDT on June 6. The bronze medal match will precede the gold medal match at 8:15 a.m. local time.
How to watch or stream the 2021 IIHF World Championship Finals:
All games of the IIHF Championship, including the gold medal match on June 6, will be broadcast on NHL Network.
Who is playing in the 2021 IIHF World Championship Finals?
The participants of the gold medal match have yet to be determined.