Monday, December 26, 2011

Alberta welcomes the World as tournament opens

The puck has dropped and the games are underway, with Alberta showing its stuff on the world hockey stage with ten days of hockey madness as only the World Juniors can provide for.

The growth of the World Junior Championship's resonance in Canada can be seen rather easily these days, as where ever the tournament is hosted in Canada it finds success beyond organizer's imaginations it seems.

However, such is the growth of this tournament that gone are the days of the small market hosts, replaced now it seems forever, by the large metropolis centres of Canada.

This years tournament is now under way, with both Calgary and Edmonton playing host to the ten teams of the two groups which take to the ice over the next ten days. The large NHL size arenas the setting of what has become Canada's Holiday time tradition, the buzz in both cities equal to the passion that its fans are bringing to the games.

This marks the last in a string of Canadian hosted events for the World Juniors, they will return to Europe for the next two tournaments of 2013 and 2014,  if past precedence is an example, destined to a more subdued presentation  for the next few years, the passion for the tournament seemingly not quite as vivid in Europe as it has become in Canada.

So with Hockey Canada bidding farewell to the hosting duties for a few years, we imagine that these next ten days will be a combination Stampede/Klondike Days type festival to set a new benchmark for host cities.

Canada opened up its tournament in Edmonton with a convincing 8-1 victory over Finland, setting their tone for this tournament, which it would seem is one of redemption for last years loss to the Russian squad.

Through the next ten days we'll provide a review of the events of the tournament, the scores and other items of interest, all of which you can find from this page on the portal.

Look for it on the right hand side in our HockeyNation extras section.

The schedule and scores page can be found here.

While our coverage of the background stories and reviews of the game action can be found here.

Enjoy the games, as Canada rings out the old year and welcomes in the new one, perhaps with a gold medal by the time we're five days in to 2012!

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