The final game of the 2023 World Cup of University Hockey has been played, and the final results of the tournament have been announced. The fifth day of the tournament featured the placement matches, the match for the bronze medal, and the championship final. Undoubtedly, the most thrilling moments occurred in the afternoon when the teams battled it out for the medal positions. The programme was made even more exciting by the fact that the hosts Romania were also involved in the clash for third place.
The final day of the World Cup of University Hockey started with the playoff matches. The game between Hungary and Czech Republic for seventh place began at 9:30. The match was not a particularly eventful one, ending in a 1-1 draw in regular time, and after a quick resurfacing of the ice, extra time ensued, with the Czechs taking the win.
The next match-up decided fifth place, with the Poles facing off against the Swedes. In the first two periods, the Nordic squad had their way, leading by two goals. Over time, the Polish team gradually improved their performance and began to narrow the gap. It took half an hour before they scored their first goal, but from then on there was no stopping them. They took the lead and in the second half they scored into an empty goal.
In the third match, the battle for medals was on. One of the tournament’s delightful surprises, the hosts Romania, met Slovakia, a very strong team building on the two best performing teams in the European University Hockey League. Romania defeated Canada and the Czech Republic in the group stage, before suffering a one-goal defeat to Poland and being beaten by the United States in the semi-finals. Slovakia also started with two victories, beating Hungary and then Sweden, only to be defeated by the USA in the group stage and Canada in the semi-finals.
The contest for the bronze medal began with a fairly even performance from both teams, but the Slovaks soon built up a two-goal advantage. Subsequently, there were moments of optimism for the home team, who launched some threatening attacks and crafted some exceptional opportunities but were unable to convert them into goals. Towards the end, the Slovaks persistently punished their opponents, who had focused all their efforts on constructing an offensive strategy.
If you looked at the groupings before the tournament, you were probably hoping for a USA-Canada final. The two teams’ path to the final was far from straightforward, however, as the field was very evenly matched, much to the delight of impartial fans. Even so, both teams won their groups and went on to dominate the semi-finals.
The finals were incredibly highly attended and the teams met the expectations with an exceptional, fast-paced, and high-quality game. During the first period, the United States of America were on top of their game and were more effective on offense, but it was clear that it was a battle of equally prepared teams, so there was a sense that the clash could go either way. In the end, the USA continued their scoring run and won 4-0.
Results of the fifth day of play:
Czech Republic – Hungary 2-1 (OT)
Scorers: Simacek, Svejda and Csiki.
Poland – Sweden 4-2
Scorers: Slusarczyk (3), Kusak and Wedjesjö (2).
Slovakia – Romania 5-0
Scorers: Novodomec, Škvarka (2), Trenčan, Škvarka.
USA – Canada 4-0
Scorers: Kadolph, Potter, Kraemer, Buchholz.