World best Ice Hockey Playing Nations:
There is a huge list of worldwide nations that are playing ice hockey. But the most notable among them are seven nations. Which are also referred as “Big Seven”. Here are some of the features of these seven best nations which make them distinct from rest of all.
In the beginning, Ice hockey of Sweden was under the control of Swedish football association. Later on, Swedish ice hockey association was established for the responsibility of this sport. What is icing in hockey fetch 19 lac spectators in 20013-14 season, which was the highest number of spectators ever in Swedish sports history.
Sweden ice hockey team is considered to be top most successful team all over the world. This nation has won two gold and six other medals in Olympic game. Swedish team also have won IIIHF championship, 9 time in their history. 2013 IIHF championship is their recent victory.
Canadian team for ice hockey was established in 1963. After 1972 summit series, it got the fame with the name of “team Canada”. Team Canada has a record of winning 9 Olympic gold medals.None of the team have ever reach to the level to break this record. Most significantly, during last four events of Olympic, it had got 3 medals. This indicates their improvement in performance in recent matches. This nation also have the honor to be champion of IIHF ice hockey for 24 time. Team Canada is also a part of unofficial “big six” as like big seven.
This nation is very successful in sport of ice hockey. About 0.7 % of the population of Czech Republic Population is officially enrolled in hockey. So one can easily speculate their national interest in ice hockey. Their interest lead them to achieve massive achievements in this sport. This team got 1998 Olympic gold medal and three successive gold medals till 2001 at world championship. That’s not all, this team have got further achievements in 2005/2010 tournament, 2010/2006 IIHF championship , 2006 Olympic. This nation is also listed in big six and seven. Besides men, this country have also reputable women’s and junior national team.
Finland is also a member of IIHF. There are 288 rinks available in Finland to play ice hockey. Many leagues are being played in the country. Besides other leagues like Division 1,2,3, “Liiga” is their highest level league. Finland ice hockey team acquired 6 medals in Olympic Games, including 2 silver and 4 bronze. While they can’t win any gold medal yet.
Russian team is organized under the federation named “Ice Hockey Federation Of Russia” This nation have got hundreds of ice hockey rinks and thousands of registered players. “Kontinental Hockey League “ is organized by Russia at International level. Russian national team ranked 3rd in IIHf World ranking with 3000 + points. This nation is the winner of silver medal in 1998 and bronze medal in 2002 Olympic games.
Current Russian team is following the traditions of Soviet Union Ice hockey team, but in ranking the new team is considered different from earlier one. By the way, Soviet union team won 9 medals. This include 7 gold 1 silver and bronze.
This nation have made 81 rinks, where registered players are round about eleven thousand. Slovak Extraliga is their hot favorite and top level league. Some analyst, are not agree to place Slovakia in top 7, but still it is a part of Big seven. Slovakia is struggling hard since last sixteen years. It has accomplished a lot in this duration, which comprises of 4 medals in world championship.
Slovakia and Czech was a combined nation. Due to some dispute they divide themselves into two countries. But still Czech got all the control over the national team. But this can’t last long. And Slovakia developed a team of its own and got its recognition in ice hockey.
United states have rinks of the figure touching 24,000. Their registered players are counted to 519,417. NHL has 30 teams, out of which 29 are based in U.S.
“Miracle on Ice” was the greatest success for U.S to have a significance role in ice hockey. In this success U.S win Gold medal by defeating Russia as opponent.
United states have won 11 medals in Olympic. Out which 2 are gold, 8 silver and 1 bronze.