2023 Universiade – hockey: the triumph of the Canadians in the final, the Kazakhs with the bronze

The Lake Placid Universiade is over! Its final highlight was the final of the men’s hockey tournament played in the evening Polish time, in which Canada confidently beat the United States 7-2.

Game for 3rd place

However, before the teams battling for tournament-wide triumph appeared on the surface, the “consolation final” was played. The Japanese, who after an average group stage were very close to beating the Americans and playing for gold, faced the Kazakhs there. The key question before this match was – will the hockey players of the land of the Rising Sun be able to forget the defeat after extra time in the semi-finals and fight for the bronze medal?

Unfortunately, it was clear from the start that we would likely be dealing with a very one-sided show. The Kazakhs dominated the ice, but in the first half the Japanese goalkeeper did an excellent job, thanks to which the hockey players of the country of the Rising Sun went to the break, losing only 0:1. Within the first five minutes of the second half, however, they conceded three more goals. Moreover, in the end, the representatives of Kazakhstan finished their rivals with the score 5:0. Taiga Abe immediately responded to this goal, but the outcome of the bronze medal fight was already settled by then.

The last part of the competition was played by Kazakhs at ease, having fun on the ice rink. They gave three more goals to their opponents and were able to enjoy a place on the podium at the Lake Placid Universiade.

Kazakhstan – Japan 8-1 (1-0, 4-1, 3-0)


After Kazakhstan’s meeting with Japan, the time has come for the final accent of this year’s Universiade – the grand final of the hockey tournament, in which the Canadians faced the Americans. The favorites in this duel were hockey players from the country of the maple leaf, who won all previous games with a difference of at least three goals. Their rivals, however, had to play extra time in the semi-finals.

Canadian dominance in Lake Placid was evident from the start of the meeting. Despite ambitious attempts by the hosts, who dreamed of winning gold in front of their own home crowd, it was clear that their rivals were in complete control of the situation on the surface. Austen Keating and Brett Davis scored in the first period to give their team a 2-0 lead. That score lasted nearly twenty minutes until the Maple Leaf Country’s 100 killer seconds kicked off. They then scored two more goals and it became clear that it would be extremely difficult for their rivals to get back into the game. Even Ruffin’s goal was of little use to the Americans as McCormick responded twelve seconds before the end of the second period.

We didn’t see any goals in the last part of the game. USA hockey players managed to break through the defense of their rivals just five minutes before the end of regulation time. The hosts, sensing the last spark of hope, then rushed into frenzied attacks, which however had the opposite effect to that intended. The Canadians scored twice to seal their triumph in Lake Placid.

USA – Canada 2:7 (0:2, 1:3, 0:2)

With this gold medal, the Canadian team overtook Poland in the final medal standings of the Lake Placid Universiade. The whites and reds with 17 medals (5 gold, 6 silver and 6 bronze) finished in fifth place.

Alec Dittman

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