After Team France’s 6-2 win over Denmark this afternoon, the club will be going to the quarterfinals of the IIHF World Hockey Championships for the first time since 1995. Canadian coach Dave Henderson said, “This is huge for French hockey. It’s been a long time since it last happen. I’m totally happy with the team.” He should be rightfully so, as France went into this tournament with little chance of winning more than one game.
They did, however, and against good teams like Canada and Czech Republic. Their two wins, 2 overtime wins, and 2 losses made them come in a remarkable fourth place in Group A, ahead of contenders like the Slovaks, and Norwegians. They will have to play Russia in the quarterfinals, but just making it this far is a huge accomplishment.
Led by Antoine Roussel and Stephane Da Costa, France is looking to make some noise both now and in the future. Young players Xavier Oullet and Tim Bozon look like future NHLers, and the country is hoping that more are to come.
Go to the next page to look at my top 5 French hockey players of all-time!
NOTE: I did not include Paul MacLean, current Ottawa coach and former NHL player, who as born in France, but his national team is Canada.