International Ice Hockey Federation

Fascinating figures

Fascinating figures

From Smith’s assists to Tre Kronor’s reliability

Published 22.05.2014 00:56 GMT+3 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Fascinating figures
Craig Smith had five assists in Team USA’s surprising 8-3 victory against Russia in last year’s quarter-finals. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
With the playoffs of the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship about to start, let’s look back at some interesting historical data on quarter-finals.

The last time a goalie recorded a shutout in a World Championship quarter-final was on May 11, 2011, when Ondrej Pavelec of the Czech Republic had 29 saves in a 4-0 victory over the United States.

May 11, 2011 was also the last time a player had a hat trick in a quarter-final, with the honor going to Jaromir Jagr.

The most lopsided quarter-final in World Championship history was on May 5, 1994 when the Finns hammered Austria 10-0.

The lowest combined total of goals scored by losing teams in the quarter-finals was in 1995 was one. That year Sweden blanked Italy 7-0, Finland shut out France 5-0, the Czechs beat Russia 2-0, and Canada defeated the United States 4-1.

Craig Smith of the United States owns the record for the most assists in a quarter-final. Smith had five helpers when the Americans eliminated the Russians with an 8-3 victory on May 16, 2013 in Helsinki.

The last player to crack an IIHF World Championship All-Star team despite losing in the quarter-finals was Norway’s Patrick Thoresen in 2012. Although his team fell 5-2 to eventual champion Russia, Thoresen was recognized for recording a whopping 18 points in eight games.

The highest number of penalty minutes ever recorded in a quarter-final is 121. The Swiss got 80 minutes and Germany 41 in the Germans’ 1-0 victory on May 20, 2010. A near-brawl occurred at the final buzzer in this hotly contested game, and both Swiss player Timo Heibling and German assistant coach Ernst Hofner were assessed match penalties.

Losing on home ice in the quarter-finals is the cruelest fate. That’s occurred six times in World Championship history. Germany lost 5-1 to Russia (1993), Italy fell 7-2 to Sweden (1994), Germany was defeated 4-1 by Finland (2001), Finland fell 6-5 to Sweden (2003), the Czech Republic lost 3-2 to the United States (2004), and Sweden lost 4-3 to the Czech Republic (2012).

The biggest collapse ever in a World Championship quarter-final was Finland’s 6-5 loss to Sweden in Helsinki on May 7, 2003. At 6:44 of the second period, Finland was up 5-1 over its archrival, buoyed by a Teemu Selanne hat trick. But the Swedes came roaring back with three goals in the second period and two more in the third, including the winner from P-J Axelsson on the power play with 4:54 left.

Sweden is the most reliable team in quarter-final matchups. Since 1992, when the IIHF instituted the playoff system, the Swedes have lost only three times: 3-2 to the United States in 1996, 2-1 to Finland in 2000, and 4-3 to the Czech Republic in 2012.


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