Nick Bonino led the USA to the semi-finals, and now the title has to come. © APA / Lehtikuva / HEIKKI SAUKKOMAA
Two European outsiders are challenging the two biggest North American nations in the fight for a place in the final of the Ice Hockey World Championships. And center right: The NHL star who made a big impact on South Tyrol.
May 26, 2023
Record world champions Canada will take on a sensational Latvia team on Saturday (1.20pm CEST) in Tampere, who have yet to win a World Cup medal. In the second semi-final (5.20pm), hitherto undefeated USA and Germany will play a World Cup final for the first time in decades. The final will be held on Sunday (7.20 pm).
Latvia reached the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time ever. As for the Baltic nations, who played their group games in their capital, Riga, they are now without a home advantage. Canada, who ended Finland’s dominance over defending champions with a victory in the quarter-finals, awaits in the final round of the city of Tampere. The Canadians are two wins away from their 28th title.
The United States wants its first world title in 63 years
In the second semi-final, both teams are seeking a historic place in the final. Germany is aiming for its first World Cup medal in 70 years, and the US team has been waiting for a World Cup gold medal since 1960, when the Olympic tournament was also considered the World Cup and the hosts were surprised by a “miracle on ice”. No American team has contested a World Cup final in the modern era.
“We have a lot of self-confidence.”
American Captain Nick Bonino
The United States is the only undefeated team in the current tournament. “We have a lot of confidence, but we know how hard it is to win the championship and how hard it is to get into the medal ranks,” said USA captain Nick Bonino. By the way, this is not forgotten in South Tyrol. During the NHL lockout in the fall of 2012, the striker moved directly from the Anaheim Durcks to Serie A2 to HC Neumarkt. He played 19 games for the Wild Goose and had an incredible 52 points scorer.
It still has many fans today in the Lowlands
For Newmarket, the €10,000 monthly premium wasn’t just money well invested in the sport. Bonino filled the stadiums of the Italian second division in ranks, in the WürthArena alone there were more than 1,000 spectators for each match during this time. Because of his team spirit and gentle nature, he won much sympathy in the Lowlands.
Nick Bonino in 2012 in a Neumarktner jersey. © Max Batis
Last season, Bonino played for San Jose and Pittsburgh in the National Hockey League. Now he wants to overcome the penultimate hurdle of the World Cup in Tampere. For the American boys, it’s against the German team, who started the tournament with three losses and made their way to the knockout stage with four wins. After beating Switzerland 3-1 in the quarter-finals, the Germans had the chance to win their first World Cup medal since silver in 1953.
In the group stage, the Americans won only 3-2 after losing 2-1 thanks to two goals in the last period. “We have to play like we did against Switzerland. With heart, soul, passion and just everyone for everyone,” German National Hockey League forward John-Jason Peterka said before taking revenge on Saturday. German news agency (dpa).
About the World Cup semi-finals:
Saturday 27 May
Canada – Latvia (1:20 PM)
USA – Germany (5.20 pm)
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