ZURICH – The International Ice Hockey Federation and USA Hockey have released the schedule of the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship on Monday. The event will take place April 7-14, 2012, in Burlington, Vermont (USA) and features the top female hockey players in the world.
Host nation and reigning champion United States will face eternal rival Canada on the opening day at the Gutterson Fieldhouse, home arena of the University of Vermont’s NCAA Division I teams. The arena will serve as the main venue, and it will be host to Group A matches and most of the Final Round games. Cairns Arena, less than three miles from Gutterson, will serve as the secondary facility for the event.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing this event back to the United States for the first time in a decade,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “We look forward to welcoming the teams and fans from around the world to Burlington and we know our fans are in for a real treat in seeing the best players in the world compete for the gold medal.”
“Vermont is proud to be hosting the 2012 Women’s World Championship,” said Peter Shumlin, governor of the state of Vermont. “Vermont has a long hockey tradition and as the father of two daughters I can tell you that this tournament is a great way to show young female athletes that there are opportunities for women to excel in sports. I hope that having the opportunity to attend the Women’s World Championship will inspire more girls to play hockey.”
The event will be staged with a new format, where the four top-seeded teams will play in Group A in the Preliminary Round while the teams seeded 5-8 will be in Group B. The best six teams (four from Group A, two from Group B) will advance to the Final Round while the two last ranked teams of Group B will play a best-of-three relegation series.
This format will be used for the first time in Burlington, and it will also be used for the women’s ice hockey tournament of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Apart from the North American teams, Group A also includes last year’s bronze medal winner Finland, and Russia.
Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia and newly-promoted Germany will play in Group B of the Preliminary Round.
Ticket packages will go sale August 1 for the general public. The Gutterson Fieldhouse Package ($290) includes tickets to all 12 games at Gutterson, seat selection at the time of purchase, a commemorative ticket book and event scarf. The Cairns Package ($75) includes general admission seating to all games at Cairns (either nine or ten games). Ticket information can be found at Burlington2012.com or by calling (+1) (802) 656-4410.
The Women’s World Championship has been played since 1990. Canada won the first nine events, while the United States have won four gold medals in the last five Women’s World Championships, including the last three championships.
It will be the third time the event will be hosted in the United States after Lake Placid in 1994 and Minneapolis in 2001.
National teams from a record 36 nations have registered for the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship program and are split between six tiers.
Click here for the full schedule.
Click here for the format.
Click here for more ticket and event information.
Click here for an overview of all World Championship events.