Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The World arrives in April

The arrangements for the 100th Anniversary of the World Hockey Championships is coming together nicely for Halifax and Quebec City, as sixteen teams make their early plans for the competition, the first time that it has been held in Canada.

The Canadian squad opens up its training camp on April 23rd in Quebec City, with a number of exhibition games lined up through the end of April all designed to tune all 16 teams up for the May 2-18 tournament.

Pre season games will travel to a variety of towns and cities in Quebec and Atlantic Canada as the visiting squads try to get their skating legs back in shape and their overall game plan back on track. One of the more interesting of pre tournament matches will feature France and Italy squaring off in St. Leonard, a Montreal suburb known for its large Italian population. Nobody mention soccer and past grievances from recent World Cups, or it may be a game that even Don Cherry might want to take in.

Canada will play its round robin matches in Halifax; leading up to what they hope will be the Gold Medal game back at Le Colisee on May 18th.

The Canadian team is traditionally topped up with players from teams that don’t make the playoffs or exit after one short round; however, with the tournament being held in Canada this year, the potential for late additions from the second round of the playoffs is a possibility, making team chemistry and allocation an important aspect for Hockey Canada.

For Canada, the defending champion, a berth as top seed for the 2010 Olympics is on the agenda, as well the top nine finishers in this springs event will all qualify for the Olympics, giving the competition a little extra importance this time around.

Organizers roll out the red carpet on May 2nd, with the host country hoping that it’s the home side standing on it on May 18 collecting another Gold Medal and helping to put a stamp on edition 100 of the World Championships.

Hockey Canada--2008 IIHF Website

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