h National teams

Nick Bonino led the USA to the semi-finals, now the title is up for grabs. © APA/Lehtikuva / HEIKKI SAUKKOMAA

Neumarkt's NHL star reaches for the stars with the USA

Two European outsiders are challenging the two top North American nations in the battle for a place in the final at the Ice Hockey World Cup. And right in the middle: an NHL star who left a big mark in South Tyrol.

Alexander Foppa

Record world champion Canada will face sensational team Latvia on Saturday (13.20:17.20 p.m.) in Tampere, who have never won a World Cup medal. In the second semi-final (19.20:XNUMX p.m.), the previously undefeated US team and Germany will fight for their first World Cup final in decades. The final takes place on Sunday (XNUMX:XNUMX p.m.).

Latvia has reached the World Cup semi-finals for the first time ever. For the Balts, who played their group games in their capital Riga, things now continue without a home advantage. Canada is waiting in the final round town of Tampere, having ended defending champion Finland's dominance with a quarter-final victory. The Canadians are two wins short of their 28th title.

USA wants its first World Cup title in 63 years

In the second semi-final, both teams are aiming for a historic final. Germany is aiming for its first World Cup medal in 70 years, the US team has been waiting for World Cup gold since 1960, when the Olympic tournament was also counted as a World Championship and the hosts surprised with the “Miracle on Ice”. A US team has never appeared in a World Cup final in modern times.
“We have a lot of confidence.” US captain Nick Bonino

The USA is the only undefeated team in the current tournament. “We have a lot of confidence, but we know how hard it is to win a tournament and how hard it is to get into the medal ranks,” said US captain Nick Bonino. By the way, this is unforgettable in South Tyrol. During the NHL lockout in autumn 2012, the striker moved from the Anaheim Ducks directly to Serie A2 to HC Neumarkt. He played 19 games for the Wild Goose and was credited with an incredible 52 scorer points.

There are still many fans in the Unterland today

For Neumarkt, the insurance premium of 10.000 euros per month at the time was not just money well invested in sport. Bonino filled the Italian second division stadiums in droves, with well over 1000 spectators per game in the WürthArena alone during this time. Because of his helpfulness to the team and his sociable nature, he earned a lot of sympathy in the lower country.

Nick Bonino in the Neumarktner jersey in 2012. © Max Pattis

Last season, Bonino played in the NHL for San Jose and Pittsburgh. Now he wants to clear the penultimate World Cup hurdle in Tampere. The US boys face the German team, which started the tournament with three defeats and fought its way into the knockout rounds with four wins. After one 3-1 in the quarterfinals against Switzerland The Germans have the chance to win their first World Cup medal since silver in 1953.

In the group phase, the Americans only prevailed 1-2 after trailing 3-2 with two goals in the final third. “We have to play like we did against Switzerland. With heart and soul, with passion and everyone simply for everyone,” said Germany’s NHL striker John-Jason Peterka before Saturday’s revenge German Press Agency (dpa).

The World Cup semi-finals at a glance:

Saturday, May 27
Canada – Latvia (13.20:XNUMX p.m.)
USA – Germany (17.20:XNUMX p.m.)


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