Something special happened last night in Cologne, Germany. It was time for the final of the Ice Hockey World Championships. The teams representing Canada and Sweden were on the ice. I was of course up watching the game, enjoying the battle game between the two teams. As result, I and quite a few others ended up at tonight’s celebrations at Sergels Torg in Stockholm. In case you didn’t know, ice hockey is a really big sport here in Sweden.
The Game: Canada vs. Sweden
After 60 minutes the game was still tied at 1-1 and 20 minutes of overtime did not change that. Victor Hedman shot the Swedish goal with 21 seconds remaining in the second period. At that time Sweden had one player in the penalty box. Canada tied the game in powerplay early in the third period. At the end, it was time for penalty shots in order to appoint a winner. Best of five was going to decide who won the gold medal.
William Nylander missed the first Swedish penalty shot, luckily Canada did not do much better. While Canada also missed the two following penalties, Sweden made sure to get a good possibility to seal the game by scoring twice. First Nicklas Bäckström shot the puck into the net, and then Oliver Ekman-Larsson also succeeded. The game was finally sealed by the save of Henrik Lundqvist on Canada’s fourth attempt.
After beating first Switzerland in the quarter-final, then Finland in the semi-final and eventually Canada in the final, Sweden became world champions for the 10th time in history. All in all, it was a very exciting game!
The Celebrations: Sergels Torg, Stockholm
Today after work I left Susann at home and headed to the central part of Stockholm. More precisely, I was heading to Sergels torg. I wanted to participate in the celebrations as the players arrived. Sergels Torg has been the site for several of these celebrations in the past. Ice hockey stars such as Peter Forsberg, Mats Sundin and several more have been here. I believe the last time a gold medal was celebrated at this square was in 1998, the later celebrations have been taking place at other sites such as Kungsträdgården.
Thousands of people showed up and gathered around the square. The weather finally showed signs of summer and the atmosphere was cheerful. What else to request? Artists performed on stage and they were accompanied by the large crowd. What was the main show, you might ask? That was, of course, the presentation of the Swedish team and the trophy carried upon stage by the Swedish captain Joel Lundqvist.
The question is when we will have the opportunity to witness these many NHL players in the Swedish team next time. Seeing stars joining the team, one after another, was fun this year. The great names included defensemen such as Victor Hedman and Anton Strålman. There were also forwards such as Gabriel Landeskog, William Nylander, and Elias Lindholm. And let’s not forget to mention the late arriving stars Nicklas Bäckström and Henrik Lundqvist. This sure was an impressive team.