Finland Captures Ice Hockey Gold in Slovakia

(ATR) Finland has its first ice hockey world championship in 15 years after scoring six goals in the final 21 minutes against silver medalist Sweden.

(ATR) Finland has its first ice hockey world championship in 15 years after scoring six goals in the final 21 minutes.

Nordic rival Sweden led Sunday’s gold-medal game until the tournament’s leading scorer, Jaarko Immonen, netted the puck with 7.7 seconds left in the second period.

His fellow Finns never looked back as five different players scored against Swedish goalie Viktor Fasth, who was named tourney MVP despite the loss.

Earlier on Sunday, the Czech Republic beat Russia 7-4 to claim the bronze medal. Roman Cervenka scored a hat trick to lead the Czechs, while former NHL player Petr Prucha added two goals.

Now without a professional contract, 1998 Olympic gold medalist Jaromir Jagr said he’s unsure whether he will return to play in Russia next season or attempt an NHL comeback.

"I have mixed feelings, so I have to wait and make a good decision," the Czech, 39, said after Sunday's win. "For sure, I’m going to finish at home, but making one more season in the NHL would be the way to do it."

NHL in Sochi Update

On Thursday, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr updated the annual IIHF Congress regarding the possibility of NHL players participating in the 2014 Olympics.

"You have to find out what they want," he said later in an interview with IIHF.com.

"Not what they want or prefer in the abstract, but given the various kind of possibilities that are real, what makes sense to them as a group. On what balance is thissomething that creates more problems than it does when it’s in North America, simply because of the travel and time distance?"

Fehr continued to discuss some of the logistical and scheduling challenges that the NHL would face should players be allowed to compete in Sochi.

"You have to look at either the extension of the regular season or the compression of the same number of games into fewer days and you figureout how they feel about it," he said.

"Then you have discussionswith the NHL and the federation folks, and you see what comes out ofthat. These are not the easiest things in the world once you get into the details and try to work through them. Hopefully we’ll be able to get to a point where everyone is satisfied, but it’s going to take some effort."

Skoda Remains Hockey’s Title Sponsor

Czech-based car manufacturer Skoda will continue its relationship with the IIHF as official title sponsor and car partner of the hockey world championship until 2017.

The contract extension was announced over the weekend during a joint press conference between Skoda and Infront Sports and Media, the official media and marketing partner for the annual IIHF showcase.

Skoda has been involved in the ice hockey world championship since 1992 and has served as title sponsor since 1993. The previous agreement between Skoda and the IIHF was for seven years from 2005-2011.

World Championship Numbers

Attendance during 58 games at the 17-day tournament was 406,583.

Almost a thousand members of the media were onsite to cover the championship – 500 for television, 369 written press and 112 photographers. Among the written press and photographers were journalists from 24 countries.

Written in Bratislava by Brian Pinelli.