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Hungary-Canada: “Based on what happened here a year ago, I expect we will play a combative match.”

Hungary-Canada: “Based on what happened here a year ago, I expect we will play a combative match.”

In a good and relaxed mood – as it should be after winning gold at the World Championships – the Hungarian men's ice hockey team prepared for Tuesday's friendly match against Canada at the MVM Dome. Since practice was optional, many people did not put on their skates, but rather watched their teammates practice and move around in the stands. István Terbócs, Balázs Sebők and János Hári did not wear their kit, as did Bence Bálizs, who defended brilliantly in Bolzano. It is true that the latter, though, was standing for a while at the open bench door and distributing pucks to his teammates.

The audience of a small number of recruited members of the players did not create the usual atmosphere in the stands, after Istvan Sofron's movements, he looked at the others when he heard “It was nice, old man!” Or “That's it, Sophie!” Shouts. However, after one mistake, those on the ice got the bow, of course, only the one working makes a mistake. Instead of practicing serious tactical elements, the focus this time was on more playful tasks, as they shot, passed and tested Dominik Horvath and Roland Farkas in goal.

Half an hour was enough for the players on the fresh ice at the MVM Dome, and since the big work has already been done, the showdown against Canada will be more of a bonus game than a real test.

“No one is too excited for this festive match, in fact everyone wants to enjoy the game, the environment and the atmosphere, especially against a team that is fun to play against. Of course, I will also have work to do. I'm curious about the Canadian forwards, the hockey culture is completely different there, we're not used to On such competitors, but we will put on the gloves and see what happens. – said national team goalkeeper Bence Bales.

Preparation match, MVM Dome
19.00: Hungary-Canada (television: danube world)

The foreign players arrived in Hungary late Monday afternoon and will play their last preparatory match before World Cup Group A against our national team. Additionally, they will feature as defending Elite World Cup champions in Prague, where they will face Great Britain in the first round on Saturday. Their team includes stars such as the “miracle” of the Chicago Blackhawks Connor Bedard, two Stanley Cup winners from the St. Louis Blues, goalkeeper Jordan Binnington and defenseman Colton Parayko (both became the first in 2019) or also NHL champion Bowen Byram from the Buffaloes.

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Even before the match, fans can salute members of the women's national team who have reached the elite, and former dominant players who have retired from the men's team this season will officially bid farewell to the team and spectators. Of course, such an occasion is not only related to professional hockey, as the gates open at five in the afternoon, and those interested can choose from several pre-match programs. For example, there will be virtual reality hockey, bubble hockey and, in the spirit of the upcoming European Football Championships, puckball will also be played, as well as cage football, darts, face painting and tattoos for the little ones.

In addition, the Hungarian Ice Hockey Association organizes a charity auction, during which you can get signed jerseys, pucks and all kinds of relics of the Canadian and Hungarian national teams. The pooled support will go to Szinttésps Alapítvány, which through the Kuckó program provides assistance to children's homes in purchasing sports equipment. During the first third of the game, fans can attempt to set a record, and the goal is to throw as many stuffed animals as possible onto the ice, which the Heart Champion Foundation delivers to children's hospitals. The Hungarian record is 6,870 plush figures, which attendees can try to surpass.

Therefore, it is worth buying a ticket for the match Hungary-Canada even for those who are not familiar with the world of ice hockey, because in addition to the additional programs, we can also expect achievements that we rarely see on the ice from the biggest players in the world. Sports.

(Photo: Csaba Domotor)

– His team arrived with a completely different composition than it was a year ago, but that did not affect the Canadian team.
– We are fortunate to have such an opportunity to immerse ourselves deeply in our country, as this is one of Canada's great strengths against its competitors. Every player considers it a privilege and appreciation to be able to wear the national team jersey and have a maple leaf decorate his chest. We won the last World Cup, so expectations are incredibly high now. Everyone is motivated by the fact that they can follow in the footsteps of the old greats, and of course we want to win the game now as well.

– Can you compare last year's World Cup gold medal winning team to the current team? What are the similarities and differences?
It's a good question, because we always have different players in the national team, so we have to deal with them in a different way. This will be my fourth World Cup and second as a coach, and each team has been completely different. The first, in 2021, was a very hard-working team, and we also won thanks to the great performance of the goalkeepers at that time. A year later, we had a more attacking team, then lost to host Finland in overtime in the final, and in 2023, our defense is once again the strongest part of the team. The most important thing is for players to develop the right relationship on and off the ice to be consistent.

– What do you expect from the match against the Hungarian national team?
– Based on what happened here a year ago, I expect that we will play a fighting match, but – with all due respect to the opponent – we are now mainly focused on arranging our game until the start of the World Cup. We are trying to right the wrongs of the match against Austria, and hopefully entertain the fans in the process.

Tourigny expects a difficult match against the Hungarian national team – a short interview with Andre Tourigny, captain of the Canadian national team
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