Austria’s Historic Hockey Comeback in Perspective

Austria historic hockey comeback

In over 7,000 top-level IIHF games since 1920, no team has ever achieved what Austria did last night in Prague: come back from a five-goal deficit in the third period.

Trailing 6-1 early in the third against Canada, Austria scored at 3:14, 4:08, 10:41, 15:56, and, with the goalie pulled, at 19:11 to force overtime.

Canada, with more than 1,600 periods played in World Championships since 1930, has conceded five goals in a period only four times, most recently 43 years ago.

Austria, meanwhile, had scored five goals in a period only three times in their WM history: in 1947 against Poland, in 1949 against Denmark, and in 2022 against Great Britain.

Four other notable comebacks from four-goal deficits exist in Men’s Worlds history: Canada vs. East Germany in 1963, Canada vs. Finland in 1990, Sweden vs. Finland in 2003, and Slovenia vs. Switzerland in 2017.

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Additionally, in the 1984 Canada Cup finals, Sweden nearly overturned a 5-0 deficit, losing 6-5 to Canada.

Austria’s comeback stands unique as it occurred entirely in the third period. Despite Canada’s John Tavares scoring the second-fastest OT goal in WM history, Austria’s historic feat was undeniable. This incredible rally could be the key if Austria avoids relegation by a single point in the standings.

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