Calgary 2024: Top five moments

The fiercely-contested matches, historic victories, sensational performances and much more from an incredible A-Pool World Championships in Calgary 14 May 2024
Players celebrate
Goaltender Adam Kingsmill proved sensational for Canada in the gold-medal contest, stopping 24 of 25 shots at the WinSport Arena in Calgary.
ⒸErica Perreaux / Hockey Canada Images / WPIH
By Stuart Lieberman I For World Para Ice Hockey

The World Para Ice Hockey Championships A-Pool came to a close on Sunday (12 May) in Calgary, Canada, with a new world champion for the first time in seven years after several closely fought contests and dramatic plays.

Here is a look back at some of the most memorable moments from the tournament at WinSport Arena, where Canada won gold, USA took silver and Czechia claimed bronze.

Kingsmill the king of Canada

Goaltender Adam Kingsmill proved sensational for Canada in the gold-medal contest, stopping 24 of 25 shots, including several in the final minutes, to backstop his team to its fifth world title and first since 2017. The British Columbia native, who will graduate with a degree in athletic therapy from Mount Royal University in Calgary this month, said it was “such an emotional moment” for him. “It’s always been my dream to win on the world stage, he said. “I have a hard time not looking forward right now to the next worlds and the Paralympic Games. We’ll keep plugging away.”

Farmer on fire

USA’s Declan Farmer was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Championships A-Pool for the second consecutive time, leading all skaters in Calgary with 11 goals and 20 points. In doing so, he set an American single-tournament record for points. The runner-up finish marked Team USA’s 11th consecutive A-Pool medal; Farmer has been a member of five of those medal-winning squads. 

Czechia is no fluke

Czechia has competed at every World Championships A-Pool but one since 2009, but it was only last year that it reached the podium for the first time. Czechia’s 3-2 win against China in the bronze-medal game was a defining moment for the programme, showcasing it was here to stay and 2023 was no fluke. With six points apiece from rising starts Vaclav Hecko and Filip Vesely, and a 2.00 goals against average mark from netminder Martin Kudela, Czechia proved it has the pieces to play with the top teams.

Slovakia moving up

Slovakia’s 2-1 upset win over Italy in the preliminary round in Calgary was a turning point for their programme, which started less than a decade ago. Its sixth-place finish was its highest in history, and now for the first time will stay in the A-Pool for two consecutive events. One of the most hockey obsessed nations, Slovakia is now on track to potentially qualify for a second consecutive Paralympic Winter Games.

Close contests

Five of the eight playoff games in Calgary were decided by a single goal, including both the gold and bronze-medal contests and the seventh-place game. The close results highlight the growth of the sport as it inches closer to parity among the teams and a larger number of nations rising to podium contenders.