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IIHF World Championship kicks off in Canada

December 26 2008

World Youth Championship, which will be attended by players under the age born in 1989, will be launched in Ottawa on Friday. The championship involves 10 national teams for players no older than 20 years, which at the preliminary stage, divided into two groups. Quintet in A represent Team Canada, USA, Czech Republic, Germany and Kazakhstan. Group B teams are from Russia, Sweden, Finland, Slovakia and Latvia. The winner of each group goes directly to the semifinals. The other two medals are determined competitor in the play-offs between the teams who took a group of second and third places.

At World Youth Championship has traditionally dominated by domestic and Canadian hockey schools, which for two 26-fold became winners of the championships for the 20-year-olds (Canada - 14, USSR / Russia - 12). For two awards at the highest dignity of Czechoslovakia / Czech Republic and Finland, one gold - in the U.S. and Sweden. In the 31 th out of 32 held under the auspices of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Championships, Canada and the USSR / Russia have won medals. The exception was 1987, when both teams were disqualified for a mass brawl in the final match of the tournament.

In the capital of Canada's team of Sergei Nemchinov went to the status of one of the main favorites of the championship. In the Continental Hockey League (CHL) has proved to be excellent goalkeeper Traktor Daniel Alistratov, major players in their team are defender Maxim Goncharov (CSKA) and striker Eugene Dadonov (Traktor). High hopes pinned on players playing in North America: defender Vyacheslav Voinov, forwards Nikita Filatov, Evgeny Grachev, Sergei Korostin and Dmitry Kugrysheva. According to Bob McKenzie, Senior Analyst, Canadian broadcaster TSN, Filatov is one of the major stars of the upcoming season.

The Russian team could be even stronger if not for the tragic death of 19-year power forward of Avangard Alexei Cherepanov, who in the previous two youth championships won a silver (2007) and bronze (2008) medals. The heart of one of the most talented young players of the country stopped Oct. 13 in the end the game with Vityaz in Chekhov, near Moscow.

Past four years, World Youth Championship won Canadians. For the fifth consecutive gold pioneers of hockey to lead a very experienced coach Pat Quinn, under whose guidance the Canadians won the Olympic gold-2002, and won the Junior World Championship-2008 in Kazan. Leader of the team owners is striker John Tavares, who along with Swedish defender Victor Hedman is a prime candidate for the first issue of Draft National Hockey League (NHL) in the next year. The confrontation of these two players experts call one of the main intrigue of the coming season. A sensation of well we can talk, if Team Canada, Russia, Sweden and the United States does not amount to the four semifinalists of the tournament.

The two worst teams of the tournament will leave the strongest class. The next year they will replace the team of Switzerland and Austria, who won in their qualifying divisions. The Russian national team, which did not win the World Youth Championship in 2003, will start Dec. 26 game against Latvia. Then wards Nemchinov will play against Finland (December 28), Slovakia (30 December) and Sweden (December 31). On the eve of the championship Russian junior had two test matches in Canada, beating their peers from Kazakhstan (4:1) and losing to the Americans (1:5).

Championship game will be held at two stadiums Ottawa - Civic Centre and Scotiabank Place. Scotiabank Place, which stands on the ice club NHL Ottawa Senators, is the main arena for the tournament and will take the final match of the championship on Jan. 5, 2009. Television broadcast from Ottawa will maintain the satellite channel NTV-Plus ", RIAa href = "" target = "_blank"> News.

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