Matt Boldy and Ryan Hartman Start the Scoring for Team USA vs Norway

Photo: USAHockey – Twitter

In America, the NHL Playoffs are still in full swing. Seven teams are still vying for the Stanley Cup and the Minnesota Wild are not one of them. But, hockey never sleeps. Across the pond in Norway, another prestigious tournament is taking place on the ice. The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.

This is a tournament that’s been played for 100ish years, depending on what you consider its official start date. It includes dozens of countries, divisions and yearly relegation rules. Some countries see it as a bigger deal than others but there’s no denying its long and storied history or its place on the hockey calendar.

USA Goes Wild vs Norway

In 2022, there were three Minnesota Wild players added to the Team USA roster after their playoff run ended. Matt Boldy and Ryan Hartman on offense and Jon Merrill was selected on defense. Today, in the final preliminary game of the tournament vs Norway, Hartman and Boldy scored the first two goals of the game. Boldy’s was beautiful.

There are two groups (A, B) and only 4 teams from each group advance to the elimination round. The tournament uses the same point system we see in the NHL — 2 points for a win, 1 point for a loss in OT.

Onto the Finals

Team USA entered the day in 4th place with 10 points, behind Czechia (13), Finland (16) and Sweden (18). Latvia is 5th, with 8 points, after losing their final prelim game vs Sweden earlier this morning. So, Team USA will advance as the final team out of Group B.

Norway is out of contention with just 5 points. The 8-team “finals” tournament will begin on Thursday and Team USA, as the #4 seed out of Group B, will go up against the #1 seed out of Group A (Switzerland), in the quarterfinals.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan