Sweden made international hockey history at the Arēna Rīga, dispatching Czechia in a dominating 4-0 victory to not only capture their eighth IIHF World Championship Gold Medal, but becoming the first team in history to win Olympic and World Championship Gold in the same year, a feat made even more sweeter by retaining the International Hockey Lineal Championship.
While both sides were relatively balanced in shots and initial offensive output in the first, a pair of goals 37 seconds apart split the game wide open for Tre Kronor, first striking on a Jesper Mattsson wrister that bounced up and over Milan Hnilička to make things 1-0, followed up by a Frederik Emvall tip on a Mattsson slap shot to suddenly put Sweden ahead 2-0 after one. Niklas Kronwall would continue the onslaught early in the second, being sprung on a breakaway by Ronnie Sundin, and beating Hnilička on a nifty backhander to go up 3-0 only 25 minutes into the game.
The offensive barrage did not stop there, as Tre Kronor took advantage of a 5-on-3 with Czech stars Patrik Štefan and Tomáš Plekanec in the box to score their fourth, with Jörgen Jönsson banging in a behind-the-net one-time pass from Mikael Samuelsson to double up on the Czechs in the second, outshooting the Czechs 10-4. While the shots were only 7-4 for Sweden in the third, Sweden’s defence and a sharp performance from Johan Holmqvist throughout the game ensured the Czechs could not score, let alone mount a comeback, ensuring the Swedes coasted to their first Worlds Gold Medal since 1998 in a 4-0 victory.
With the win, Sweden captured its 60th International Hockey Lineal Championship title, and its first since winning it from the Czechs in the 2006 Olympic Semifinal, before winning Gold over Finland the next game. This was the first meeting between Sweden and Czechia over the IHLC since the aforementioned Semifinal in Turin, which Sweden won 7-3 to qualify for the Gold Medal Game. This Swedish team featured eight players who also played on the Olympic Gold Medal squad from Turin, who have the rare distinction of winning individual Olympic and World Gold in the same year: the Jönsson brothers, Kronwall, Samuelsson, Sundin, Henrik Zetterberg, Mika Hannula and Stefan Liv.
Finland entered the tournament as IHLC champions, a title they won from Sweden in April at the LG Hockey Games, defending against Slovenia, Latvia, the Czechs, the United States and Norway in Rīga before losing the title to Canada in the Preliminary Round finale. Canada would successfully defend against Slovakia before losing to Sweden in the Semifinals on May 20, a day before the Gold Medal Game. The win also ensured the title would continue on the 2006 Euro Hockey Tour, with Sweden entering the 2006 Česká Pojišťovna Cup with the IHLC.
01:14 – PEN – Kronwall, slashing
05:35 – PEN – Hubáček, hooking
11:41 – PEN – K. Jönsson, tripping
14:36 – GOAL – Mattsson (Kronwall, Karlsson)
15:13 – GOAL – Emvall (Mattsson, Karlsson)
18:40 – PEN – Erat, holding
22:22 – PEN – K. Jönsson, interference
23:24 – PEN – Michálek, tripping
24:07 – GOAL – Kronwall (Sundin, Nylander)
27:32 – PEN – Hållberg, interference
35:06 – PEN – Štefan, holding
36:41 – PEN – Plekanec, slashing
37:01 – PP2 GOAL – J. Jönsson (Samuelsson, Nylander)
43:17 – PEN – Nylander, high sticking
W: J. Holmqvist (15-15)
L: Hnilička (22-26)
SHOTS ON GOAL
9+10+7 = 26
7+4+4 = 15
Goaltenders: Daniel Henriksson, Johan Holmqvist, Stefan Liv. Defence: Per Hållberg, Andreas Holmqvist, Magnus Johansson (A), Kenny Jönsson (C), Niklas Kronwall, Ronnie Sundin, Mattias Timander. Forwards: Nicklas Bäckström, Fredrik Emvall, Johan Franzén, Jörgen Jönsson, Andreas Karlsson, Joel Lundqvist, Tony Mårtensson, Jesper Mattsson, Björn Melin, Jonas Nordquist, Michael Nylander, Mikael Samuelsson, Henrik Zetterberg (A).
Goaltenders: Milan Hnilička, Adam Svoboda. Defence: Jan Hejda, Tomáš Kaberle, Lukáš Krajíček, Zdeněk Kutlák, Zbyněk Michálek, Martin Richter, Martin Škoula. Forwards: Jaroslav Balaštík, Jaroslav Bednář, Jan Bulis, Martin Erat, Jan Hlaváč, Jaroslav Hlinka, Petr Hubáček, Zbyněk Irgl, Tomáš Plekanec, Tomáš Rolinek, Patrik Štefan, Petr Tenkrát, David Výborný (C).
(+ 9 ties)
|First IHLC Meeting (SWE vs. CZE)
SWE 4-2 TCH – 02/13/1949 – WC – Stockholm
|Previous IHLC Meeting (SWE vs. CZE)
SWE 3-0 CZE – 04/26/2006 – LGG – Stockholm
|Last IHLC Game
SWE 5-4 CAN – 05/20/2006 – WC – Rīga
|Next IHLC Game
RUS 4-3 SWE (SO)- 08/31/2006 – CPC – Linköping