Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
British Columbia, Canada will host the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Hockey Championships. This prestigious tournament will begin with Canada playing Finland December 26th, 2005. The gold medal game will take place January 5th, 2006.
Always an exhilarating show of hockey, the World Juniors showcase the best young talent in the world. Canada will be the defending champions after cruising to victory in Grand Forks, USA last year. Players and fans alike look for nothing less than a gold medal from the Canadian team, with anything less often considered a failure – however unfair that may seem.
Since 1974, Canada and the Soviet Union (which includes the CIS and Russian teams) are tied with 11 gold medals each. The Soviet Union has 23 medals to Canada’s 21. The United States has a total of 4 medals with their only gold coming in 2004. The growth of hockey in the United States has placed them amongst the top teams in recent years with improved player development and increased popularity of the sport and they are considered by many to be the favourites going into this year’s tournament. Canada will be going in with a young team with their attempt to defend their gold medal from last year.
Be prepared for some great hockey from these young players as dreams of gold and a future NHL career abound.