IHLC 2019 In Review – Men’s


The International Hockey Lineal Championship this year stayed within the confines of the Euro Hockey Tour, with only Russia, Czechia, Sweden and Finland holding the title over the course of 28 games throughout 2019.

The IHLC started 2019 with Russia on the Euro Hockey Tour, with Finland leaving February’s Beijer Hockey Games with the title. The Leijonat went 5 of 6 in the Euro Hockey Challenge before losing to Sweden on the final day of competition, who brought the IHLC to the Czech Hockey Games. It was Russia who ended up leaving the Euro Hockey Tour with the title they started with, giving them the belt to begin the World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Russia nearly ran the table at the World Championships, dispatching Norway, Austria, Czechia, Italy, Latvia, Switzerland, Sweden and the United States, before being stunned by Finland in the Semifinals in a 1-0 decision. Finland then stunned Team Canada in the Gold Medal Game once again, winning their third World Championship in history in dramatic and stunning defensive fashion, despite only having a single NHLer on the roster.

The Finns began the 2019-20 season with the title on home ice at November’s Karjala Tournament, dropping the title to the Czechs in their second game. The Czechs then brought the title to home ice to kick off the Channel One Cup in Plzeň before losing to hosts Russia in Moscow, who for the second straight year finished out the year with a win over Finland in front of 70,000+ at Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg.

The following games were contested over the men’s IHLC in 2019 (click for game recaps and boxscores):
1696. 🇷🇺 RUS 3-2 FIN 🇫🇮 (SO) – 07 Feb 2019 – BHG – Yaroslavl 🇷🇺
1697. 🇸🇪 SWE 4-2 RUS 🇷🇺 – 09 Feb 2019 – BHG – Stockholm 🇸🇪
1698. 🇫🇮 FIN 5-4 SWE 🇸🇪 (SO) – 10 Feb 2019 – BHG – Stockholm 🇸🇪
1699. 🇫🇮 FIN 1-0 DEN 🇩🇰 – 11 Apr 2019 – EHC – Aalborg 🇩🇰
1700. 🇫🇮 FIN 2-1 DEN 🇩🇰 – 13 Apr 2019 – EHC – Vojens 🇩🇰
1701. 🇫🇮 FIN 3-1 NOR 🇳🇴 – 18 Apr 2019 – EHC – Rovaniemi 🇫🇮
1702. 🇫🇮 FIN 7-0 NOR 🇳🇴 – 19 Apr 2019 – EHC – Kokkola 🇫🇮
1703. 🇫🇮 FIN 5-4 SWE 🇸🇪 – 25 Apr 2019 – EHC – Kouvola 🇫🇮
1704. 🇸🇪 SWE 3-1 FIN 🇫🇮 – 26 Apr 2019 – EHC – Helsinki 🇫🇮
1705. 🇸🇪 SWE 6-4 RUS 🇷🇺 – 01 May 2019 – CHG – Stockholm 🇸🇪
1706. 🇨🇿 CZE 3-0 SWE 🇸🇪 – 04 May 2019 – CHG – Brno 🇨🇿
1707. 🇷🇺 RUS 4-1 CZE 🇨🇿 – 05 May 2019 – CHG – Brno 🇨🇿
1708. 🇷🇺 RUS 5-2 NOR 🇳🇴 – 10 May 2019 – WC – Bratislava 🇸🇰
1709. 🇷🇺 RUS 5-0 AUT 🇦🇹 – 12 May 2019 – WC – Bratislava 🇸🇰
1710. 🇷🇺 RUS 3-0 CZE 🇨🇿 – 13 May 2019 – WC – Bratislava 🇸🇰
1711. 🇷🇺 RUS 10-0 ITA 🇮🇹 – 15 May 2019 – WC – Bratislava 🇸🇰
1712. 🇷🇺 RUS 3-1 LAT 🇱🇻 – 18 May 2019 – WC – Bratislava 🇸🇰
1713. 🇷🇺 RUS 3-0 SUI 🇨🇭 – 19 May 2019 – WC – Bratislava 🇸🇰
1714. 🇷🇺 RUS 7-4 SWE 🇸🇪 – 21 May 2019 – WC – Bratislava 🇸🇰
1715. 🇷🇺 RUS 4-3 USA 🇺🇸 – 23 May 2019 – WC – Bratislava 🇸🇰
1716. 🇫🇮 FIN 1-0 RUS 🇷🇺 – 25 May 2019 – WC – Bratislava 🇸🇰
1717. 🇫🇮 FIN 3-1 CAN 🇨🇦 – 26 May 2019 – WC – Bratislava 🇸🇰 🏅
1718. 🇫🇮 FIN 4-3 RUS 🇷🇺 – 07 Nov 2019 – KT – Helsinki 🇫🇮
1719. 🇨🇿 CZE 3-2 FIN 🇫🇮 (SO) – 09 Nov 2019 – KT – Helsinki 🇫🇮
1720. 🇨🇿 CZE 3-0 RUS 🇷🇺 – 10 Nov 2019 – KT – Helsinki 🇫🇮
1721. 🇨🇿 CZE 4-3 FIN 🇫🇮 (OT) – 12 Dec 2019 – COC – Plzeň 🇨🇿
1722. 🇷🇺 RUS 4-3 CZE 🇨🇿 (SO) – 14 Dec 2019 – COC – Moscow 🇷🇺
1723. 🇷🇺 RUS 2-0 FIN 🇫🇮 – 15 Dec 2019 – COC – Saint Petersburg 🇷🇺

The IHLC Rankings for 2019 were as follows (total all-time wins and rankings in parentheses):
01. 🇷🇺 RUSSIA – 12 wins (461, 1st)
02. 🇫🇮 FINLAND – 9 wins (120, 5th)
03. 🇨🇿 CZECHIA – 4 wins (198, 4th)
04. 🇸🇪 SWEDEN – 3 wins (203, 3rd)

Russia will now start 2020 with the title once again at February’s Beijer Hockey Games in Sweden, meaning the title will stay on the Euro Hockey Tour until the Euro Hockey Challenge begins in April, in advance of May’s World Championships in Switzerland. Both the Russians and Finns will look to continue their dominance on the top level, while the Czechs and Swedes continue to battle for third place in the all-time IHLC Rankings. And of course, all countries outside of the Euro Hockey Tour will look to make a dent in the standings, to ensure the “core four” do not hold the title for yet another year.

Photo Credit: IIHF Worlds 2019 – IIHFHHOFIOC

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