The France team concluded the 2022 World Cup on ice hockey with a heavy defeat against Canada (7-1) on Tuesday in Helsinki, but the Blues had already achieved their goal by ensuring their maintenance in the world elite.
Against Canada, one of the favorites for the title, France fell short and trailed 5-0, before saving the honor by Anthony Rech in the final period, then conceding two goals additional.
France, 13th in the world ranking, had left the world elite in 2019, but it was drafted in mid-March for this World Cup-2022 after the exclusion of Russia by the International Federation following the invasion of Ukraine. .
They finished in 6th place in Group A, in 12th place overall, with a record of two wins (2-1 against Kazakhstan and 2-1 in extra time against Italy) and five defeats.
“We savor this maintenance, because we are coming out of two and a half years of trouble”, analyzed Philippe Bozon, the coach of the Blues.
“It was important to maintain and seize this chance, the players responded well, we were even close to taking more points against the Slovaks (4-2 defeat) and the Germans (3- 2),” he noted.
“There is a good chemistry in this group, a good mix of experience and youth, with a good quality of speed”, underlined the coach of the Blues who was deprived of three of his best players, Stéphane Da Costa (injured ), Antoine Roussel who skipped this World Cup after his 9th season in the NHL, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare who is currently participating in the NHL play-offs with the double defending champion Tampa Bay.
“We have a France group with which we can build the future”, rejoiced the boss of the Blues for whom this World Cup-2022 allows “to turn the page” of non-qualification for the Beijing Olympics-2022 after a narrow defeat (2-1) in the decisive match against Latvia.
"Even if it's still much too early to think about it, it's a good result in view of the 2026 Olympics, because each tournament gives points, it's a big boost," he concluded.