When & Where
The Ice Hockey World Championships is the largest international tournament in the sport of Hockey. This year’s tournament will take place in Slovakia from May 10th-26th. The competition will be held in two Slovakian arenas, the Kosice’s Steel Arena and Bratislava’s Ondrej Nepela Arena.
The Sweet 16
Sixteen different countries will be participating in the 2019 IIHF World Championships. Notable competitors are, top-ranked Canada, Russia, United States, Sweden, and more. They will be split in to two groups, Group A and Group B.
The Playoff Rounds
The tournament starts with the preliminary round. The prelims are a hockey fan’s dream, 11 jam-packed days of hard-hitting, highly competitive hockey. The Preliminary round will run through May 23rd with anywhere from four to six games taking place daily.
The top eight teams will advance to the quarterfinal round. All four contests will take place on May 23rd. Similar to that of a March Madness bracket, the highest seeded country will face off with the lowest seeded country from the opposite group (Ex: Group A/Seed 1 vs. Group B/Seed 4).
After the close of the quarterfinals is the semifinal round. Two games will take place on May 25th to determine the final two seeds left standing.
Your 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Champions
Every country is fairly optimistic at the moment, as they should be, as teams have yet to take the ice. However, it’s fairly clear that the 2019 title is a two-headed race. Canada currently holds the greatest odds at 3.00. Canada has reached the finals in three of the past four years, two of which they concluded the tournament as IIHF World Champions. Sweden, your reigning champs, isn’t far behind Canada’s lofty odds, as they are 4.00 favorites to win it all.
Sweden has dominated play over the past few years, capturing two straight IIHF Championships. In fact, these two countries have bullied the competition in recent memory, with either Sweden or Canada winning gold in five of the last six years. The dark horse would have to be Russia (4.50), sitting just slightly behind Sweden in the IIHF betting odds. However, one would have to wonder if the glory days of Russia IIHF dominance are behind them, as they have not captured gold since the 2014 tournament. Still, with their seeding (3) and Group (B) Russia makes for an intriguing bet down the stretch.
Russia’s attempt at a Cinderella run will all but likely end short of the Championship game. Instead, May 26th is setting up to be a compilation of familiar faces, with Canada and Sweden battling it out for IIHF supremacy. Canada is by far the more talented team, and in return will be crowned your 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Champions, their 27th win in the country’s history, and the most in IIHF history.