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Team Canada after winning the 2020 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships
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Broadcast mix-up leads TV viewers to believe Russia won the 2020 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. (Canada won.)

Source: Meduza
Team Canada after winning the 2020 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships
Team Canada after winning the 2020 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships
Simon Hastegard / Bildbyran / Scanpix / LETA

On January 5, Russia lost to Canada in the final of the 2020 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. The score was 3:4 in the end, but that’s not the game many saw in Russia, thanks to some scheduling confusion that resulted in the television network Match TV airing another game between these two teams that took place nine years ago, when Russia last won the tournament.

In Russia, the first games in this year’s World Junior Ice Hockey Championships were broadcast on Match TV, which was supposed to carry the final game, as well. Instead, the game on January 5 aired in Russia on another network, Pervyi Kanal, and Match TV decided to fill this time slot with archival footage of the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, when Russia defeated Canada. 

Many viewers who’d been watching the previous games on Match TV didn’t realize they were seeing footage from nine years ago, when Russia beat Canada 5:3. At the end of the rerun, many Russian fans started celebrating on social media.

Mikhail Degtyarev (who chairs the State Duma’s Committee on Physical Fitness, Sports, Tourism, and Youth Affairs) and soccer player Dmitry Tarasov believed that Russia defeated Canada in the hockey tournament, and the news network Moskva 24 also congratulated Team Russia on its supposed championship.

Match TV’s ill-timed rebroadcast even fooled NHL St. Louis Blues right winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who actually played on the Russian championship team that beat Canada in 2011. According to his wife’s Instagram account, Tarasenko watched the game for 10 minutes, believing it was live footage, until he saw himself on the ice.

Correction: This text originally misstated that date of the 2020 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship game as January 6. In fact, the game took place on January 5.

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