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It's about this trophy. © ANSA / KIMMO BRANDT

Stars, mode and favorites: Everything about the Ice Hockey World Cup

The Ice Hockey World Championship begins in the Czech Republic on Friday. The search for the successor to defending champion Canada will be held in Prague and Ostrava from May 10th to 26th. We clarify the most important questions in advance.

Where is the game played?

The World Cup will be played in the Czech capital Prague and Ostrava. The final weekend with the semi-finals, third place game and the final takes place in Prague. The quarter-finals will be held in both Prague and Ostrava.

What is the mode?

The preliminary round is played in two groups of eight. The best four teams from both groups qualify for the quarterfinals. The last two from each group have to take part in the B World Cup next year.

Who are the favorites?

There is no top favorite this year. Record world champions and defending champions Canada have an extremely young and talented squad, including the 18-year-old exceptional striker Connor Bedard from the Chicago Blackhawks. Sweden and the USA have extremely strong teams. Hosts the Czech Republic with home advantage and Finland are also considered contenders for the World Cup. On good days, Switzerland and the German team can win against any opponent.

One of the biggest World Cup attractions: Connor Bedard © APA / MICHAEL REAVES

Which stars are there?

Canada traveled to Prague with future hope Bedard. Brady Tkachuk (Ottawa Senators), Johnny Gaudreau (Columbus Blue Jackets) and top defensive talent Luke Hughes (New Jersey Devils) stand out in the US squad. Sweden has three outstanding and powerful defensive players in Erik Karlsson (Pittsburgh), Rasmus Dahlin (Buffalo) and Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay). World Cup hosts Czech Republic have strengthened themselves with defender Radko Gudas (Anaheim Ducks) and goalkeeper Petr Mrazek (Chicago Blackhawks). Switzerland can also count on two superstars in Roman Josi (Nashville Predators) and Nico Hischier (New Jersey Devils).

Where will the games be seen?

Almost all of the knockout games are shown on free TV ProSieben shown. Also ProSieben Maxx shows more World Cup games. The Swiss broadcaster SRF 2 also broadcasts selected games daily.

The final touches before the start of the World Cup. © ANSA / MARTIN DIVISEK

What else is important at the World Cup?

The 2026 Olympics in Milan are already in the back of our minds. For the first time since 2014, all NHL stars will fight for gold in Milan. Since there will only be the two world championships in the Czech Republic and next year in Denmark and Sweden before the Olympics, there are already more top players represented in Prague and Ostrava than ever before. Because of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus are still excluded from the title fights.

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