While Latvian U20 national ice hockey team won gold medals in U20 Division 1 group A (D1A) World Championship and claimed World Champions of Division 1 group A title, meanwhile my second most favorite hockey nation Finland won real gold medals in a real IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
My favorite Latvia
Winning the D1A tournament was only the next step onto the ladder of success for this team. The climb started 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship in Nice, France continued in 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship (1) when Latvian U18 hockey team saved the relegation. Only three of those (from 2015 U18 WCh roster) players can play in 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship so the next step for this team (2015 U18 WCh roster) naturally was getting into the TOP Division in U20 WCh.
2017 IIHF U20 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship:
But wait, I have almost forgetten to mention the terrible 2015 U20 WCh which was the most terrible since 2004 U20 WCh. And that terrible WCh was wakeup call for Latvian Hockey Federation, four coaches and team manager was relieved from duties and this 2015 U20 WCh was taken more seariously than some other WCh before. But that terrible tournament was on team staff conscience not players fault.
Latvian junior hockey player eligibility for future hockey World Championships(2)
The other favorite
The best way to win a World Championship is to win it on a home ice in dramatic game which ends in over time with fantastic goal. U20 World Junior Championship MVP and the best forward award winner Jesse Puljujärvi (5+12) and Patrik Laine (7+6) ended this tournament in TOP 10 point scorers of all time among U18 players in U20 World Junior Championships. These two are the only two players who reached TOP 10 in this millennium. (3)
Top-7 Attendance IIHF World Junior Championship in Europe (4)
Two years after Malmo, Sweden, took the record from Helsinki and Hameenlinna in 1998, Helsinki claimed it back with by far the best attendance figures in Europe for a World Junior Championship. It’s eighth-best overall behind six events in Canada and one (Buffalo 2011) in the United States.
Helsinki did not only attract a full house for the Finnish team. Games featuring other teams were better attended than in past European editions of the World Juniors, and that made the biggest difference in terms of increasing the numbers.
The record will last at least for four years. In 2020, the Czech Republic will become the next European country to host the IIHF World Junior Championship at venues to be determined. After setting a new IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship record last May in Prague and Ostrava with 741,690 fans attending 64 games, the Czechs will surely be motivated to work on another great World Junior Championship.
The all-time World Junior Championship attendance record was established in 2012 when Calgary and Edmonton had 453,282 spectators at the arenas and 571,000 tickets sold.
Gold Medal game
Read the related article - Sweet under 18
Article's title image - http://www.lhf.lv/20122015-stals_mes_austrija_bijam_labaka_izlase_un
The other favorites image - HELSINKI, FINLAND - JANUARY 5: Finland flag is raised for their national anthem after a 4-3 win over Team Russia during gold medal game action at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/HHOF-IIHF Images)
1 - http://oscarscards.weebly.com/blog/sweet-under-18
2 - http://www.iihf.com/fileadmin/user_upload/PDF/Sport/IIHF_Official_Rule_Book_2014-18_Web_V6.pdf
3 - http://www.eliteprospects.com/league_total.php?season=%&leagueid=WJC-20&leagueteam=&nation=&sort=u18
4 - http://www.worldjunior2016.com/en/news/215225-fans-in-helsinki/
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