RIGA – The Latvian Hockey Federation named Leonids Tambijevs head coach of the U20 national team at its board meeting on Monday.
This year the 41-year-old coached the U18 national team that finished in ninth place at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship in the Czech Republic.
Before retiring in 2008, Tambijevs represented Latvia in 208 national team games including 15 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships (11 in the Top Division) and two Olympic Winter Games.
He has been coaching HK Riga, Dinamo Riga’s junior team that plays in Russia’s top junior league MHL, for the past two seasons.
Latvia will play Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Switzerland in Group A of the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship in Ufa, Russia, 26 December 2012 to 5 January 2013.
Last winter in Calgary, Latvia finished in ninth place to maintain in the Top Division for next year’s World Juniors.
The board also decided to further analyze the past season of the men’s national team and to decide within one month whether the contract with head coach Ted Nolan shall be extended.