Czechs, Swiss ready for battle
by Chris JUREWICZ|26 MAY 2024
The Czechs will have the support of thousands of fans inside Prague Arena during the gold medal game on Sunday.
photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation / Andrea Cardin



Radko Gudas says he and his teammates have dreamt of a moment like this since they were kids.

Playing for a World Championship gold medal on home soil is as good as it gets.

Czechia will do just that on Sunday in Prague as an entire nation takes a day to watch its heroes battle Switzerland in the final of the 2024 Worlds.

“I can’t remember the last time we were in the finals or we won. I was 10 years old or something like that,” said a chuckling Gudas, who was actually 19 years old when Czechia won gold at the 2010 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. “We feel really fortunate to do this. That’s something we were looking for and it’s something we all dreamed of growing up as kids.”

The work isn’t done, though, as Czechia will need to find a way to beat Switzerland. The Swiss finished one point ahead of the Czechs in Group A standings and Switzerland edged Czechia 2-1 in a shootout in the preliminary round.

“We’re not done yet,” said Martin Necas, who had a monster game in the semis against the Swedes with a goal and three assists as Czechia earned a 7-3 win. “It feels pretty amazing but we aren’t done yet. We don’t want to end the tournament with a loss, we want to win it all. It doesn’t matter who we play – I have said it before and I’m going to say it again.”

Switzerland enters the gold medal game on a high after defeating Canada 3-2 in a shootout during the semi-finals. The Swiss beat Germany 3-1 in the quarter-finals as well.

“We just believe. When we came here we had a clear goal,” said Swiss captain Roman Josi. “I felt like we got together as a team, grew together as a team. It’s a complete team effort. Everybody blocks shots, goes to the hard areas.
“(The gold medal game) is going to be tough. (Czechia) is a great team, they’ve got some great players. We need to get some rest tonight, find some focus for tomorrow but also enjoy because it’s a final.”

Switzerland is attempting to win its first gold medal ever at the World Championship, while Czechia is trying to win its 13th all-time gold medal.


Both the Canadians and the Swedes will have to quickly forget about their disappointing losses on Saturday as they battle for bronze.

Canada has medaled in four straight World Championships but lost its most recent bronze medal game against the United States in 2018. That was also the year Sweden won gold, which is the last time it won a medal at this tournament.

Canada was first in Group B with 19 points and Sweden led Group A with 21 points as both teams had strong tournaments but faltered in the semi-finals.

“We're a proud group. We're not just representing ourselves, we're representing our country, so we owe it to them to step up, even though a bronze medal isn't the colour that we wanted,” said Sweden’s Victor Hedman. “We still have to show up and play a good game.”

The last time these two nations played for a medal was 2017, when Sweden defeated Canada for gold.