For the first time since 2014, Norway will be returning to the World Junior Championship Top Division, after defeating Kazakhstan today 5-3 on home ice in Asker, capturing the Division IA title and booking a trip to next year’s tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Norway finished the tournament a perfect 5-0, earning wins over Kazakhstan, France, Hungary, Denmark and Slovenia, outscoring their opponents 19-8 en route to victory. Entering the final day, Norway just needed one point to clinch, and after chasing starting goaltender Roman Shefer of Kazakhstan, it was five different goal scorers to clinch the victory for the Isbjørnene.
Norway returns to the Top Division for the first time since 2014, and for just the fourth time since 2000 (2006, 2011, 2014), never managing to stay in the Top Division for consecutive years in their history. Having the tournament in nearby Sweden may be a boon to the players to get additional family and fan support, in the hopes that they do not face relegation back to Division IA for 2025.