Category: World Championships

North Korea plans to participate in hockey event in South Korea

By Associated Press

U.S. women to boycott hockey worlds, citing unfair wages

By Justin Cuthbert – The score

The U.S. women’s national hockey team announced Wednesday that it will not defend its title at the IIHF World Championships in Michigan later this month, citing wage inequality and lack of support from USA Hockey.

Players will not report until meaningful progress is made in their negotiations with the governing body, discussions they say have been put off for more than a year.

“We are asking for a living wage and for USA Hockey to fully support its programs for women and girls and stop treating us like an afterthought,” captain Meghan Duggan told ESPN.

“We have represented our country with dignity and deserve to be treated with fairness and respect.”

ESPN reports that players competing for the highly successful program earn $1,000 per month during the six-month Olympic residency program. Beyond that, compensation is “virtually nothing,” and that players are expected to maintain fitness levels and compete at the highest level during that time for negligible pay.

“We are fortunate to have strong pioneers who have changed the landscape of their sport. Figures such as Billie Jean King or teams like U.S. women’s soccer have built a foundation not only for hope, but for action,” Hilary Knight said, a member of Team USA since 2006.

“As leaders in the sport of hockey, we are asking for equitable support and encouragement for participation for women. This is another important step for women in sports, but also for women at large and for generations to come in our fight for equal pay and support.”

The team was scheduled to arrive at training camp on March 21 before the tournament begins 10 days later in Plymouth, Mich.

Viva Mexico! Div. IIB gold highlights women’s rapid progress

By Andy Potts – IIHF.com

It’s only a few years since headlines about women’s hockey in Mexico expressed amazement that such a thing could exist but five years after setting up the national team program, the country is celebrating its first ever gold medal at a full IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship event after winning the qualification tournament in 2014.

Mexico won out in the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group B in Akureyri, Iceland, topping the six-team group with a game to spare. Victories over the top-seeded Spanish and the host nation set the team on the path to gold, then shutout successes over New Zealand (1-0) and Romania (6-0) put Mexico in an unassailable position before the final day. Not even a 6-5 defeat against a Turkish team battling to avoid last place could dampen the mood ahead of the medal ceremony.

It’s been a long journey in a short space of time – literally, as well as metaphorically, given that the team has traveled to Spain and Iceland to compete in the last three seasons. But head coach Diego de la Garma believes there is more to come from the roster that has just clinched promotion to next year’s Division II Group A.

“Our team is almost like an under-20s roster with five or six senior players added,” he said. “Five of our girls were playing at the U18s in Spain last month, so we’re sure there’s a lot of potential to compete at a higher level next season.”

Many of Mexico’s ice hockey players made the transition from inline hockey when the country decided that the long path to reaching the Olympics might be more realistic for a women’s team. That was in 2012, and the story began with two exhibition games against Argentina (W1, L1). Now, though, de la Garma sees a new generation of players whose experience begins on the ice.

“Our program has been growing every year,” he said. “We’ve got lots of new players, young players, who are taking up the sport – and I think Mexico is falling in love with that.

“It used to be a bit of a taboo here if women played something that is seen as a men’s sport, but people can see how they play the game, how the girls give their hearts to the game, how they have had a lot of success in a little time. That’s a big deal, especially in team sports, because Mexico’s national teams haven’t had much success recently.”

With the country’s football teams, traditionally the biggest source of sporting pride, enduring a relatively fallow period, other sports get a chance to make a mark. “Watching a women’s team winning a tournament, at any level, inspires people,” added de la Garma. “It gets everybody dreaming. It’s won us a lot of fans, not just in Mexico but in Latin America and even around the world. The girls play with so much passion, so much heart, and people respond to it.”

Back home in Mexico – at least 12 hours of flying time away, depending on connections – fans have been following the news from Iceland enthusiastically. “I think our team has really won the hearts of fans back home,” de la Garma added. “Everybody involved with the game has been watching the streams and following the stats, and they’ve been messaging us on social media. The team feels like a big family, and fans respond to that.”

The youth of the team is eye-catching, but there’s solid experience involved as well. First-choice goalie Monica Renteria, 29, had an impressive tournament, giving up just three goals in three games and stopping 96.34 per cent of shots. Claudia Tellez, who finished with 4+4=8 points to claim second place among the team’s scorers is another who was involved from the start, and was a 2016 CWHL Draft pick for the Calgary Inferno. However, she was pipped for the top scorer honours by Maria Chavez, who celebrated her 22nd birthday during the competition. The Rojas twins, Joanna and Giovanna, also had productive tournaments with five and four points respectively: they are two of the four players on the roster who were born in the 21st century.

Once back in Mexico, the immediate focus is on June’s Pan-Am tournament. For Mexican hockey, it’s a valuable chance to showcase the game on home ice, but de la Garma admits that it can be a mixed blessing for the women.

“In the men’s competition, countries like Colombia bring good import players, but for the women it’s not so strong if we don’t have a team from the U.S. or Canada,” he said. “But it helps give our juniors a taste of international action. The under-18s play as a Mexico B team. They experience the pressure and the atmosphere of wearing our country’s jersey, and it gets them dreaming about doing it at a World Championship.”

Other chances to play are limited, a common problem for emerging hockey nations. The women play in the men’s u18 championship to gain extra experience, and have a team in the second division of the five-tier national Sunday Night Hockey league, but opportunities to take on teams from more established hockey nations are rare outside of World Championship trips. The journey to Iceland included a stopover in Toronto and an exhibition game against a local team, an experience that de la Garma feels was invaluable.

The 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group B concludes Sunday night with Iceland, New Zealand and Spain battling for the silver and bronze medals. Turkey finished in fifth, buoyed by its final day win over Mexico. Romania, without a victory, drops down to next year’s qualifying group.

Riga and Minsk want to become ice hockey capitals of 2021

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By Ludmila Glazunova – Public broadcasting of Latvia

Rīga and Minsk have made a joint bid to host the 2021 World Hockey Championships. The federation’s top officials and Rīga mayor Nils Ušakovs departed for Minsk on Thursday to present the joint offer of the two cities, the Riga City Council said.

The first and only time Latvia has hosted the World Ice-Hockey Championship was 2006 when games were held at the newly-built Arena Riga and the Skonto hall. Latvia finished tenth.

The Latvian Ice-Hockey Federation (LHF) has campaigned repeatedly for the right to host the championships since. Former Prime Minister and current head of the LHF Aigars Kalvītis will be attending the presentation of the joint bid at Minsk, together with the organization’s secretary general Viesturs Koziols. 

Minsk has hosted the championship once, in 2014, with Latvian hockey fans saying it had been held very well.

This year Germany’s Cologne and France’s Paris will host the championship jointly. 

The International Ice Hockey Federation could decide over the location of the 2021 championship in its annual congress in May.

The joint application to host the championships was signed on Thursday in Minsk, said Ušakovs on Twitter.

“In 2021 Minsk and Riga want to jointly organize the World Championship in hockey. The application was just signed. Fingers crossed!”

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Belarus bids to host IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship 2021

belarus ice hockey
By Belarus News

Belarus’ Ice Hockey Federation as submitted a bid to host the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship 2021, BIHF Secretary General Yaroslav Zavgorodny said in an interview with the Belarus 5 TV Channel. According to him, the official documents have been sent to the International Ice Hockey Federation. Belarus will know who it will compete with at the upcoming IIHF Congress. In case the Belarus bid fails, the country intends to apply to host 2022 IIHF World Championship. Belarus plans to hold the world championship in two arenas Minsk Arena and Chizhovka Arena which were the venues of the 2014 IIHF World Championship. “The necessary infrastructure for the world championship is already in place. The previous world championship cemented Belarus’s image as a truly hockey country capable of hosting high-profile events at the highest level,” the federation said. The BIHF is well aware that it will be very hard to win the bid at the first attempt because among the bidders is also Finland.

Happy ending for hosts

By Lucas Aykroyd – IIHF.com

There is a classic 1979 Soviet comedy called Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, and that phrase fit the bill here. This wasn’t the dream ending the Russians had hoped for – let an atonement for bowing out in the 2014 Olympic quarter-final in Sochi – but at least they had some reasons to smile in their last IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship game in the Russian capital.”Even though we didn’t make the final, we wanted to give our fans something to cheer, to thank them for coming and supporting us throughout the tournament,” said Russia’s Roman Lyubimov.

Under head coach Oleg Znarok, the Russians have now won medals at three consecutive Worlds: gold (2014), silver (2015), and bronze (2016). They’ve medalled at eight out of the last 10 Worlds altogether.

Russia has also finished in the top three each time this tournament has hit Moscow, including 1957 (silver), 1973 (gold), 1979 (gold), 1986 (gold), and 2007 (bronze).

Still, more was expected in 2016. The hosts stumbled in their opening 3-0 loss to the Czechs and a 6-4 win over now-demoted Kazakhstan, but then powered through without a defeat until falling 3-1 to their recent nemesis, Finland, in the semi-finals.”I’ve got mixed feelings about this tournament,” said Russian starting goalie Sergei Bobrovski. “We were under a lot of pressure, and there was great expectation around us. It feels like we lost, even though we came out with a medal. At the same time, the guys put up a good fight. We gave everything we could but it wasn’t quite enough.”

Sergei Moyzakin led the way with two goals and an assist, and Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists. Yevgeni Dadonov and Vadim Shipachyov each added a goal and an assist. Vyacheslav Voinov and Ivan Telegin also scored for Russia. Captain Pavel Datsyuk chipped in three helpers.”We played pretty average,” said Shipachyov of his team’s overall performance. “It’s good that in the end we got a medal, but overall we’re disappointed.”

Frank Vatrano scored twice for the Americans, who outshot Russia 30-29.”We knew what to expect: high-end skill and offensive chances,” said Tyler Motte. “They brought it today.”

It was tough for both sides to bounce back the day after their golden dreams ended. In the semi-finals, the U.S. rallied from a 2-0 deficit against Canada, only to lose 4-3.”We had the late game last night,” said Dylan Larkin. “It’s a quick turnaround. And then the emotions of losing a close one to Canada last night. And then [Russia] came out and played a good game in front of the home crowd. It hurts. It’s very disappointing.”

The Americans missed a chance to become the first nation ever to win back-to-back bronze medals by beating host countries. In last year’s bronze game, the U.S. earned a 3-0 shutout over a Czech team with tournament MVP Jaromir Jagr in Prague. The last time the U.S. medalled at consecutive Worlds was in 1949 (bronze) and 1950 (silver).”We had a game plan,” said U.S. captain Matt Hendricks. “We knew what we had to do. We just didn’t execute. You have to give Russia a lot of credit. They played a very strong game.”

Still, overall, the U.S. can take pride in salvaging a fourth-place finish. Coach John Hynes’ team exceeded expectations by making it this far after losses to Canada, Finland, Germany and Slovakia in group play. In the near future, the Americans could well find themselves in the final, thanks to USA Hockey’s excellent development programs.

At 6:23, Voinov opened the scoring on a centre point drive through a kneeling Keith Kinkaid’s legs, with Sergei Shirokov providing traffic in front. That ignited Russia’s confidence. The mood lightened perceptibly in the Ice Palace with chants of “Shaibu!” from the partisan crowd of 12,043.

The Russian power play struck to make it 2-0 at 13:41. Datsyuk sent a nice cross-ice pass to Mozyakin, who teed up a slapper from the left faceoff circle that beat Kinkaid high to the stick side.

Mozyakin, 35, won the KHL scoring title this season (67 points) and captained Metallurg Magnitogorsk to the Gagarin Cup as the leading playoff scorer (25 points). He is the second all-time leading goal-scorer in Russian league history behind Boris Mikhailov.

The U.S. had a rough end to the first period, as Russia’s defencemen began throwing their weight around. Dmitri Orlov caught Jordan Schroeder with a low hit, sending him cartwheeling and shaking him up. Then Maxim Chudinov rammed into J.T. Compher in front of the U.S. bench, appearing to leave his feet in the process. However, the check only garnered an interference minor.

Russia’s antics continued at the start of the second period, as Telegin cut to the net off left wing and ran over Kinkaid. Not long afterwards, the U.S. had a good shorthanded chance, but Bobrovski stood firm to deny Brady Skjei on a rebound off the rush.

Russia went up 3-0 at the halfway mark. Mozyakin found Datsyuk in the right faceoff circle with a hard pass, which the captain settled down before setting Telegin up for an easy goal into the wide-open net.

The top-scoring Russian line combined for a beauty to put the game out of reach at 12:49. Vadim Shipachyov sent a clever cross-ice pass to Panarin, setting up a 2-on-1, and the Calder Trophy candidate with the Chicago Blackhawks pulled up before dishing it to Dadonov to bang into the open side.

The U.S. broke Bobrovski’s shutout bid at 14:29 on Vatrano’s power play goal with Patrick Maroon screening in front. However, the Russians answered less than a minute later. Panarin went to the net and converted the rebound from Chudinov’s high shot off the post to make it 5-1.

Mike Condon replaced Kinkaid in the U.S. net to start the third period, but it was too late to make any difference. Vatrano fired a one-timer past Bobrovski at 3:42 for his third goal of the tournament. But a full-fledged U.S. comeback was about as likely as cherry blossoms in December in Yakutsk, Russia’s coldest city.

Mozyakin potted his second goal of the game with 6:47 left, finishing off a lovely centering pass from Datsyuk. And with seven seconds left, Shipachyov rounded out the scoring with a power play goal sweetly set up by Dadonov.”It would have been a good performance for me if we had won the cup,” said Shipachyov, who finished with a tournament-leading 18 points. “But we didn’t, so I can only say I’ve had an OK tournament.”

On only one occasion have the Russians failed to medal as the home team. They disastrously finished 11th at the 2000 IIHF World Championship, the first time St. Petersburg hosted the tournament.

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Russia Bronze Medalist 2016

Canada captures gold at WHC for second straight year

By The Canadian Press

Connor McDavid’s first goal of the world hockey championship proved to be golden.

McDavid’s goal in the first period stood as the winner as Canada successfully defended its world championship title with a 2-0 win over Finland in the tournament final.

The 19-year-old Edmonton Oilers centre had registered eight assists in the first nine games of the tournament, but was one of just two Canadian forwards not to have recorded a goal coming into the gold-medal game.

McDavid ended his drought at the 11:24 mark of the first period, driving to the net and deking out sprawling Finnish netminder Mikko Koskinen.

Matt Duchene added an empty-net goal with one second left on the clock to seal the win.

Max Talbot made 16 saves for his tournament-leading fourth shutout.

Canada came ready to play on Sunday, registering the first seven shots of the game before the Finns fought back with several good chances late in the first period.

Talbot, determined to bounce back from a sub-par personal performance in a 4-0 loss to Finland in the preliminary round, made big saves on Patrik Laine, Jussi Jokinen and Jarmo Koskiranta to help send the Canadians into their dressing room with a one-goal lead at the end of 20 minutes.

In a hard-hitting second period, Canada outshot the Finns by a margin of 13-4. The best Finnish chances came with Mark Scheifele serving a slashing penalty late in the period, when Talbot stopped Koskiranta on the doorstep, then denied Laine as he shot the puck while streaking down the right wing.

In the third, Canada took a page from the playbook of the Finns, who had allowed just eight goals in nine games heading into the final. Canada shut down the opposition with strong defensive play, limiting quality Finnish scoring chances.

Koskinen made 31 saves for the Finns.

Finland came into the final undefeated with a 9-0 record and had a chance to become the first nation ever to win the world under-18 championship, world junior championship and world championship in the same year, but fell one game short.

Canada is the first repeat gold medallist at the world championship since Russia won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009. Canada’s last back-to-back wins came in 2003 and 2004.

With his new gold medal around his neck, Canadian captain Corey Perry became the 27th player to join the esteemed Triple Gold Club, adding a world championship gold medal to his two Olympic golds from 2010 and 2014 and his 2007 Stanley Cup. Perry also won gold at the 2005 world junior championship.

Perry joined an elite group of Canadian hockey players including Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Toews, Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan, Joe Sakic and Rob Blake.

In the bronze-medal game earlier on Sunday, Russia got three points each from Sergei Mozyakin, Artemi Panarin and Pavel Datsyuk in a 7-2 rout of the United States.

Panarin said Russia had played with more freedom after a weight of expectation was lifted following its semifinal defeat to Finland on Saturday.

“I think we just relaxed today,” said Panarin, a Calder Trophy finalist. “Until now … the pressure was serious.”

The U.S. led 30-29 in shots, but Russian goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky produced some impressive saves to protect the lead.

Frank Vatrano scored both goals for the U.S.

“This one stings. Obviously, you don’t like to go out on a losing note,” forward Nick Foligno said. “They just played off their emotion and their power and we didn’t really have an answer.”


Canada Gold Medalist 2016

2017 World Championship Program

IIHF-logo
By NToficehockey

The 2016 IIHF Annual Congress assigned the tournaments of the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship program.

MEN’S CATEGORY

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship
In Cologne, Germany & Paris, France, 5-21 May 2017 Participants: 14 teams from the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship (including the two co-hosts) and the two promoted teams, Slovenia & Italy.

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A
In Kyiv, Ukraine, 22-28 April 2017
Participants: Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Austria, Korea, Ukraine 

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B
In Belfast, Great Britain, 23-29 April 2017
Participants: Japan, Great Britain, Lithuania, Croatia, Estonia, Netherlands 

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group A
In Galati, Romania, 3-9 April 2017
Participants: Romania, Spain, Belgium, Serbia, Iceland, Australia 

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group B
In Auckland, New Zealand, 4-10 April 2017
Participants: China, Mexico, Israel, New Zealand, DPR Korea, Turkey 

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division III
In Sofia, Bulgaria, 11-16 April 2017
Participants: Bulgaria, Georgia, South Africa, Luxembourg, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Hong Kong

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division III Qualification                
In Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, April 2017
Participants: United Arab Emirates, Chinese Taipei 

MEN’S U20 CATEGORY

2017 IIHF World Junior Championship
In Montreal & Toronto, Canada, 26 December 2016 – 5 January 2017
Group A: Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland Group B: Russia, USA, Canada, Slovakia, Latvia 

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A  In Bremerhaven, Germany, 11-17 December 2016
Participants: Belarus, Austria, Kazakhstan, Norway, Germany, France 

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group B In Budapest, Hungary, 11-17 December 2016
Participants: Italy, Poland, Great Britain, Ukraine, Slovenia, Hungary 

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group A In Tallinn, Estonia, 11-17 December 2016
Participants: Japan, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Netherlands, Romania 

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group B In Valdemoro or Granada, Spain, 7-13 January 2017
Participants: Korea, Spain, Serbia, Belgium, Australia, Mexico 

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division III
In Dunedin, New Zealand, 16-22 January 2017
Participants: China, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Israel, Iceland, Turkey

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division III Qualification In Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, January 2017
Participants: South Africa, Chinese Taipei

WOMEN’S CATEGORY

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World ChampionshipIn In Plymouth, USA, 1-8 April 2017
Group A: USA, Canada, Russia, Finland
Group B: Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division I Group A 
In Graz or Linz, Austria, 15-21 April 2017
Participants: Japan, France, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Hungary

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division I Group B
City TBA, Poland, 8-14 April 2017
Participants: Slovakia, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Italy, China, Poland

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group A
Host to be determined at the Congress in September.                  Participants: Netherlands, Korea, Great Britain, DPR Korea, Slovenia, Australia

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group B In Izmir, Turkey, 20-26 February 2017
Participants: Spain, Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania, Turkey

2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II Group B Qualification
In Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, 19-25 December 2016
Participants: Hong Kong, South Africa, Bulgaria, Belgium, Chinese Taipei