The IIHF Annual Congress today was held on the off day at the 2019 World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia, with a number of major announcements voted on to impact the future of international hockey in the coming years.
The schedule for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ostrava and Třinec, Czechia has been released, with the host nation opening the tournament against rivals Russia, while defending champion Finland opens their defence against border rival Sweden.
For the fourth straight World Championship in which they are participating, Austria and Slovenia have been relegated back to Division IA for 2016, failing to clinch spots at next year’s World Championship in Russia.
With virtually every professional and international competition (besides the NHL playoffs) complete, the world’s best will assemble in Czechia for the 79th IIHF World Championship, looking to assert their hockey supremacy and punch their ticket to the 2018 Winter Olympics.
In advance of the men’s 2015 World Championships in the Czech Republic and women’s 2016 World Championships in Canada, the IIHF today announced the tournament structure and qualification format for the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, Korea, with the big news being that the format will remain the same for both men and women as in Sochi 2014.
The IIHF has released a new microsite for the 2015 World Championship in Prague and Ostrava, Czechia, iihfworlds2015.com, and with it released the full schedule for the World Championship in May. Russia opens its World Championship Gold defence against Norway in Ostrava on opening night, with the hopes this game will also be for the International Hockey Lineal Championship as well.
With the IHLC now on the Euro Hockey Tour, pending a change during a Euro Hockey Challenge or Exhibition game, the title will either enter the Worlds in the possession of Russia, Finland (who faces the United States on 1 May in Ostrava), or either Sweden or the Czechs, who face each other in Prague on opening night.
Some more details on the 2015 Worlds in Prague and Ostrava have been released – the all-important groupings! The teams break down as follows (current IIHF rankings in parentheses):
05:59 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Botterill
11:43 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Tärnström
13:42 – 🇨🇦 PP GOAL – Dubé (Allison, Gendron)
17:05 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Allison (Dubé)
17:23 – 🇸🇪 GOAL – Lindgren
17:50 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Botterill
17:50 – 🇸🇪 PEN – Erikson
19:04 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Bannister
19:33 – 🇸🇪 PP GOAL – Modin (Johansson, Öhlund)