The fourth World Cup triumph for Finland’s national ice hockey team could not have been more emotional. When Sakari Manninen shot the Olympic champion to the world championship title in Tampere on Sunday evening, there was no stopping Prime Minister Sanna Marin either. Together with 11,486 other spectators in the arena, the 36-year-old gave in to the collective cheering after the 4: 3 spectacle after extra time against Canada and a little later sang the national anthem loudly. Germany was eliminated by the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals.

“Having the gold medal hanging around your neck in your own arena is the best feeling ever,” said winning goalscorer Manninen after his goal in the seventh minute of extra time. The last time Sweden managed to win a World Cup in front of their own fans was in 2013. “I have no idea what happened there. I just saw the goal and enjoyed the moment,” said defender Sami Vatanen. It was not only clear to him that this would be the start of a long night: “We’ll start with beer and then see how it ends.”

A year ago, Finland, the current ne plus ultra in world ice hockey, lost the World Cup final against Canada in Riga, at that time also after overtime. 15 Olympic champions from Beijing, who were reinforced with a few NHL stars, now managed to take revenge – with a delay. The Finns felt like home world champions up until 132 seconds before the end of regulation time, before two late goals by the mentally strong Canadians again raised doubts. “I’m just empty. I really feel every emotion I have,” Manninen continued, after using a controversial penalty against 27-time champions Canada on a pass from the outstanding Mikael Granlund to score the winning goal.

Finland and Canada have met in the finals four times in the past six World Cups. As in 2019, the Finns triumphed in their national sport. In addition to Manninen and Granlund, who scored twice in the final, national coach Jukka Jalonen and captain Valterri Filppula can now feel like national heroes. After 2011 and 2019, Jalonen is now a three-time world champion coach, Trhainer is the Olympic champion and has long enjoyed cult status.