The 2010 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships will get underway on Friday with a game that will be looking to set a World Record. It will be between the Americans who are looking to end the international season with a medal in every major event this season.
If the Americans are looking to improve on a solid 4th place finish from last year. To do it, a very young squad will take the ice from mostly NHL Teams that either failed to make or got ousted early on in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Germany on the other hand is looking to rebound after a couple of disappointing performances. In the Winter Olympic Tournament, the Germans finished 11th where only a superior goal differential to Latvia kept them out of last. To make it worse, a bad showing where they were not very competitive in all of their games in the Olympics.
Then in the IHWC last year, a 15th place finish would have relegated them to DIV. 1 if it weren't for them hosting this year's World Championship.
As for the World Record Attempt, it will be played at the Veltins-Arena which is home to the German Soccer Giants FC Schakle in the German Bundesliga. The current record is held by Michigan VS. Michigan State where they will able to fill in a little over 70,000 for a regular season game back in 2001 at the Michigan State Football Stadium.
The Target crowd for this game will be a little over 75,000 for the tournament opener as the Germans will be the home side, but be big underdogs to an American side that won the Olympic Silver Medal, WJC & U18 Gold Medals during the season. Also winning the World U17 Challenge and the World Jr. A Challenge earlier in the season.
The rest of the tournament will have a Canada team that will be looking to match Sweden's success of winning both the Olympics and the IHWC Gold Medal's in the Same year. That made Sweden the first nation ever to win both events in the same year.
Despite most of the Canadian Fan Base following the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they're always high expectations for Team Canada at this event. Especially since Canada won the Silver Medal on Home Ice back in 2007 when the tournament was held in Quebec City & Halifax.
Russia is the two time defending champions and with several big name stars on this team. Russia is looking to make it a 3 peat. The Russians will start the tournament with an interesting group with Belarus, a Slovak Team that finished 4th in the Olympics. Plus Kazakhstan who got promoted from the IHWC DIV. 1 Tournament last year and always get pumped up for their former Soviet Rivals.
This year's Tournament gets going Friday in the German Cities of Mannheim and Colonge with the opener being played in Gelsenkirchen. Groups A & D will be in Colonge while Groups B & C will be in Mannheim. Colonge's Lanxess Arena is home to Kolner Haie while Mannheim's SAP Arena is home to Adler Mannheim. Both Kolner Haie and Adler Mannheim play in the German DEL which is the top Hockey League in Germany.
Be sure to look for links regarding team previews and Game Stories as the Tournament starts on Friday. For more info, log on to the International Ice Hockey Federation Website at www.iihf.com
For the USA Roster this year, other then the mostly NHL Based players. The goalie situation with Ben Bishop of the Peoria Rivermen (AHL) and David Leggio of TPS Turku in the Finnish SM-Liiga should be interesting to follow. Also Chris Kreider will be capping off a very successful season that saw him win the World Junior Championship with Team USA and his Boston College Eagles winning the NCAA National Hockey Championship just a few weeks ago.
Team USA Roster: www.usahockey.com/Template_Usahockey.aspx?NAV=TU_01_03&id=285864
Here's a look at the 16 teams and the 1st Round Groups for the IHWC which begins on Friday.
Group A in Colonge: Russia, Belarus, Slovakia, Kazakhstan
Group B in Mannheim: Canada, Switzerland, Latvia, Italy
Group C in Mannheim: Sweden, Czech Republic, Norway, France
Group D in Colonge: Finland, USA, Germany, Denmark
Here's the Prelim Round Schedule. Plus dates for the Rest of the Tournament. The Prelim Round Schedule will be Local Time/CDT
D: USA VS. Germany 8:15 PM/1:15 PM (In Gelsenkirchen)
B: Canada VS. Italy 4:15 PM/9:15 AM
D: Finland VS. Denmark 4:15 PM/9:15 AM
B: Switzerland VS. Latvia 8:15 PM/1:15 PM
A: Belarus VS. Kazakhstan 4:15 PM/9:15 AM
C: Czech Republic VS. France 4:15 PM/9:15 AM
A: Slovakia VS. Russia 8:15 PM/1:15 PM
C: Norway VS. Sweden 8:15 PM/1:15 PM
D: USA VS. Denmark 4:15 PM/9:15 AM
B: Switzerland VS. Italy 4:15 PM/9:15 AM
D: Germany VS. Finland 8:15 PM/1:15 PM
B: Latvia VS. Canada 8:15 PM/1:15 PM
A: Russia VS. Kazakhstan 4:15 PM/9:15 AM
C: Czech Republic VS. Norway 4:15 PM/9:15 AM
A: Belarus VS. Slovakia 8:15 PM/1:15 PM
C: Sweden VS. France 8:15 PM/1:15 PM
D: Denmark VS. Germany 4:15 PM/9:15 AM
B: Italy VS. Latvia 4:15 PM/9:15 AM
D: Finland VS. USA 8:15 PM/1:15 PM
B: Canada VS. Switzerland 8:15 PM/1:15 PM
A: Russia VS. Belarus 4:15 PM/9:15 AM
C: France VS. Norway 4:15 PM/9:15 AM
A: Kazakhstan VS. Slovakia 8:15 PM/1:15 PM
C: Sweden VS. Czech Republic 8:15 PM/1:15 PM
Dates for the Rest of the Ice Hockey World Championship
Qualification & Relegation Rounds: May 14-18
Qualification Group E in Colonge (Groups A & D Combined)
Qualification Group F in Mannheim (Groups B & C Combined)
Relegation Round (4th Place Teams from All 4 Groups)
Half of the Relegation Games will be played in Both Venues.
Quarterfinals: May 20 2 in Colonge, 2 in Mannheim
Semifinals: May 22 in Colonge
Medal Round: May 23 in Colonge
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