The 2017 World Ice Hockey Championship on Thursday saw titleholders Canada prevail against a tenacious French side in Paris, with the tournament’s hosts hoping they can still secure a ticket to the quarter-finals.
Canada remained undefeated at the championships, sealing a late 3-2 win over Les Bleus at a sold-out Paris-Bercy Arena.
France had been riding high after beating world silver medallists Finland (5-1) and Switzerland (4-3) but fell just short despite pushing the two-time defending champions all the way.
The French – who are co-hosting the tournament with Germany – lead until late in the second period thanks to goals from Olivier Dame-Malka and Damien Fleury before a Claude Giroux equaliser got Canada back on track.
That set the stage for a thrilling third period in which a French own goal following a mix-up between defenceman Jonathan Janil and goaltender Florian Hardy gave the Canadians the three points.
Despite five minutes of superior numbers and several golden chances the French could not push for extra-time.
"It's a bitter pill to swallow, we had a good match and we deserve more than zero points," lamented France winger Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
Canada top Group B with 12 points ahead of Switzerland, who did not play Thursday.
France, who is now trailing in sixth place in Group B, can still qualify for the quarter-finals, but must beat Belarus when the two sides meet on Friday evening.
In Cologne, Russia also kept their unbeaten run, beating Denmark 3-0 to stay top of Group A with 11 points ahead of Latvia, who suffered their first defeat falling 2-0 to Sweden.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
Date created : 2017-05-12