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Canada defends World Championship title

In a high-class and dramatic final of the World Street Hockey Championship, the Canadians beat Czechia 3:2 in the second overtime. 

In a revival of the last World Championship’s final, reigning world champion Canada faced Czechia. The spectators in the well-attended and loud Lonza Arena in Visp could look forward to a great game. In fact, both teams celebrated world-class street hockey: fast, technical, with fierce duels. 

The respect between the teams was palpable. They neutralized each other at the start of the game and big chances were few and far between. Czechia increased the pressure from the 10th minute onwards. They created two great chances within a short space of time through Jagr and Lhota. Lantin in the Canadian goal held firm. The increase in pace paid off. Cejka powered his way in front of the Canadian goal and slotted home the opening goal. However, the reigning runners-up slowed themselves down with a penalty. In powerplay, Moquin beat Czech goalkeeper Mokry with a powerful direct shot from distance. 

The middle period began with a bang: after 20 seconds, the Czech defense misplaced the ball in the build-up, leaving three North Americans alone in front of Mokry. Moquin scored ice-cold. The Czechs reacted vehemently and had several shots, but without success. The teams now engaged in an attractive transition game. The Maple Leafs missed the double lead with quick counter-attacks. 

Early in the final period, the Canadians survived a boxplay situation with great effort, but the momentum still turned in favour of the Eastern Europeans. After a beautiful direct combination in a confined space between Bily, Hrabar and Prazak, the latter only had to slot in. The game restarted ten minutes before the end. As the Czechs missed the match ball a few seconds before the third buzzer, the game had to be decided in extra time. It developed into a relentless battle of attrition with great chances on both sides. The goalkeepers showed all their class on several occasions. Anderson scored the much-celebrated lucky punch in the 66th minute.


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