While the World Cup of Hockey has brought the best players in the world under one roof at the ACC for what’s been a terrific showcase of the sport’s top talent, you know what really makes this tournament stand out?
There’s something about an international best-on-best tournament that brings out, well, the best-dressed and highly active fans. Maybe it’s the rare excitement of cheering for your nation in an event like this, and maybe it’s because the influx of fans from overseas bring a different vibe than North American NHL fans are generally used to. All together, the fans make the World Cup experience and, boy, have we seen some great chanting, face painting and clothing throughout the event.
While the local crowd favourite team was certainly the Canadians, Team North America brought tons of interest for a few reasons. Not only is it a collection of some of the best young talent in hockey today, playing a fast-paced style that has been extremely fun to watch — but 2016 No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews took centre stage at the ACC for the first time. You think the fans like him?
The Canadian fans are in familiar territory at home, but international fans have come out in droves. Let’s start with the Swedes, who have stolen the off-ice show with their boisterous singing and dancing, coloured in blue and gold garb.
Team Europe, who most underestimated coming into the tournament, have come together as an unexpected power. And although they don’t represent one country, the Europeans have attracted fans from a few nations who have united for the cause and aren’t lacking in their support.
Even Norwegian Mats Zuccarello has his own proud supporters:
And don’t forget about the Finns!
The World Cup has been an important tournament for the Russians, who were looking to bounce back from a disappointing exit at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Here is a look at some of their most ardent supporters:
The Czechs haven’t had a lot of success on the ice here, but that hasn’t stopped their enthusiastic fans from bringing the heat in and outside of the building and just enjoying the World Cup experience.
And of course, the Canadian fans are out in full force, eh?