BERNE – After having won the second consecutive World Championship with a 2-1 over Canada in the gold medal game in Berne, Russia also takes over first position in the 2009 IIHF World Ranking.
It’s the first time since its establishment in 2004 that Russia is first in the World Ranking. Consequently, runner-up Canada falls down to second place, Sweden remains in third position, Finland in fourth.
Team USA made a step forward thanks to its semi-final qualification and is fifth, while the Czechs fell down to sixth place. Switzerland remains seventh.
Ninth-ranked Slovakia has lost another position after failing again to make the final round. In 2007, the Slovaks were sixth and have been overtaken this year by Belarus, which is now in eighth place. Latvia (10th) and Norway (11th) also moved up one position, while Germany (12th) lost two. The biggest winner was France, which went from 18th to 14th place.
The 2009 World Ranking, which reflects the performances at the World Championships of the last four years and the 2006 Olympics, also determines the groups and venues for the 2010 IIHF World Championship in Germany:
Group A (in Cologne): Russia, Belarus, Slovakia, Kazakhstan.
Group B (in Mannheim): Canada, Switzerland, Latvia, Italy.
Group C (in Mannheim): Sweden, Czech Republic, Norway, France.
Group D (in Cologne*): Finland, USA, Germany, Denmark.
* Note: The opening game of the 2010 IIHF World Championship between Germany and a team to be announced next week will take place at Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen – a football stadium with a retractable roof – on May 7, 2010. The first matches in Cologne and Mannheim will be played on the following day.
The second ticketing phase with packages for the Preliminary, Qualification and Final Round, including remaining seats for the opening game, starts on May 22, 2009. For more information, please visit www.iihfworlds2010.com.
Note: The 2009 World Ranking has no influence on the groups for the 2010 Olympic ice hockey tournament in Vancouver which were already fixed:
Group A: Canada, United States, Switzerland, Norway.
Group B: Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia.
Group C: Sweden, Finland, Belarus, Germany.
Click here to see the 2009 IIHF World Ranking.