Norway extends with Johansen

14th season under Roy’s reign; national coach ties Tikhonov

08.08.2014
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One of Roy Johansen’s milestones: The head coach celebrates with his staff after Norway’s first ever win against Sweden in an IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia 2011. Photo: Jukka Rautio / HHOF-IIHF Images

OSLO – The Norwegian Ice Hockey Association announced on Friday that the contract with men’s national team head coach Roy Johansen has been extended for two years. It will be Johansen’s 14th and 15th season making him a record holder among international coaches.

With the number Johansen would tie and overtake legendary Viktor Tikhonov, who coached the Soviet Union and Russia in 14 years including 12 consecutive seasons from 1978 to 1992. Johansen already surpassed Ralph Krueger, who was coaching the Swiss national team for almost 13 years, which means Johansen will have coached a national team for most consecutive seasons entering the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Johansen was hired for the 2001/2002 season after Norway had been relegated following three years in the top division under Swedish coach Leif Boork. It was a time Norway started to produce more players who were able to play abroad in leagues such as the NHL, the Swedish SHL or the Russian KHL and improve its rankings with the U20 and U18 national teams.

After four years in Division I play Johansen led the team to the top division after tight games against host Hungary and Poland in the 2005 IIHF World Championship Division I Group A. Since then Johansen has become a Norwegian synonym for consistency. Ever since 2006 the Norwegians have stayed in the top division, made the quarter-finals three times (2008, 2011, 2012) and participated in the Olympics twice under Johansen, in Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014.

Currently Norway is ranked 10th in the 2014 IIHF Men’s World Ranking.

Before his job as national coach the former forward of Valerenga Oslo also represented Norway as a player in three World Championship events and two Olympic Winter Games including the 1994 Olympics on home ice in Lillehammer.

MARTIN MERK

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