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2012 groups announced

World Champion Finland hosts both Canada and United States

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See you in 2012: Finland and Canada will have their first clash since 2009 next year in Helsinki. Photo: Jukka Rautio / HHOF-IIHF Images

ZURICH – The two groups for the 2012 IIHF World Championship in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden (May 4-20, 2012) have been announced by the IIHF.

It will be the first time in modern history that the men’s IIHF World Championship will be co-hosted by two countries.

<table> <tbody><tr><td>Helsinki</td><td colspan="10"> </td><td>Stockholm</td></tr> <tr><td>Finland</td><td colspan="10"></td><td>Russia</td></tr> <tr><td>Canada</td><td colspan="10"></td><td>Sweden</td></tr> <tr><td>USA</td><td colspan="10"></td><td>Czech Republic</td></tr> <tr><td>Switzerland</td><td colspan="10"></td><td>Germany</td></tr> <tr><td>Slovakia</td><td colspan="10"></td><td>Norway</td></tr> <tr><td>Belarus</td><td colspan="10"></td><td>Latvia</td></tr> <tr><td>France</td><td colspan="10"></td><td>Denmark</td></tr> <tr><td>Kazakhstan</td><td colspan="10"></td><td>Italy</td></tr> </tbody></table>
The Helsinki venue will be the 13,349-seat Hartwall Areena, while the games in Stockholm will be played at the 13,850-seat Globe Ericsson Arena.

This is the first time since 1997 that the men’s IIHF World Championship will be played with two preliminary round groups. The new format will see the top four teams in each group advance to the quarter-finals. The last-placed teams in each group (positions 8) will be relegated to Division I Group A.

Note: The quarter-finals will be played within the respective groups as opposed to the cross-over system.

Two quarter-finals will be played in Helsinki and two in Stockholm (May 17). Both semi-finals (May 19), Bronze medal and Gold medal games (May 20) will be played in Helsinki.

The schedule for the 76th IIHF World Championship will be announced soon.

The group composition is determined by the 2011 IIHF World Ranking. As the order of the World Ranking would have had the two hosting countries Finland (ranked 2) and Sweden (ranked 3) seeded into the same group, the following provision in the IIHF Sport Regulations was applied to have Finland and Sweden separated:

If a championship pool consists of two groups to take place in two countries whose teams are seeded into the same group, the hosting country team in the lower position will switch its position with the team in the same position of the other group.

Go to www.IIHF.com for more information and to www.iihfworlds2012.com for ticket information and event specific information.

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