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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
USA Hockey announced today that it has narrowed the list of potential sites to host the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-20 Championship to (alphabetical order): Buffalo, N.Y., Grand Forks, N.D., and Minneapolis - Saint Paul.

“The World Under-20 Championship is a spectacular event that we're extremely pleased to be hosting again,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “We had interest in this event from more than 20 different entities across the country. We've narrowed the field to three very worthy finalists and look forward to reaching a decision before the end of the year."

The 2011 IIHF World Under-20 Championship (otherwise known as the IIHF World Junior Championship) is a 10-nation tournament featuring the top men's ice hockey players in the world under the age of 20.

"It will be a real treat for sports fans in our country to have the World Junior Championship back in the United States," said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. "It's a very special event with an extremely high level of talent."

"The last time we hosted the World Junior Championship back in 2005, fans got to see players like Phil Kessel, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin to name just a few," said Jim Johannson, a two-time Olympian who serves as USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations. "The bottom line for hockey fans is, outside of the Olympics, the World Junior Championship is probably the best international tournament they'll ever get to witness."

The United States has hosted the event four previous times, including in Grand Forks, N.D./Thief River Falls, Minn. (2005); Boston (1996), Anchorage, Alaska (1989) and Minneapolis/St. Paul (1982).

NOTES: The IIHF World Under-20 Championship was founded in 1977 ... USA Hockey will conduct site visits with each of the three finalists in September ... The International Ice Hockey Federation granted USA Hockey the rights to host three IIHF World Championships in May of 2007, including the 2009 IIHF World Men's Under-18 Championship (which will take place April 9-19, 2009, in Fargo, N.D. and Moorhead, Minn.), the 2011 World Under-20 Championship and the 2012 World Women's Championship ... Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey and a member of the IIHF Council, oversees all aspects of international competition for USA Hockey.

World Junior Hockey Championships – Fact Sheet

  •  2011 event to take place December 26th, 2010 through January 6th, 2011.
  • 10 countries send their best age 20 and under hockey players to this event.
  • Event was held in Czech Republic in 2008 and will be held in Ottawa (2009) and Saskatoon (2010).
  • Many of the players are recent or soon to be NHL Draft Picks.
  • Games to be played at HSBC Arena and Dwyer Arena at Niagara University.
  • 31 total games will be played over the 12-day period. 
  • Medal games to be played at HSBC Arena.
  • 3,200 room nights at local hotels.
  • Estimated attendance over the 12 days of competition at both venues  (300,000).
  • Estimated economic impact = $6 million dollars.
  • Played every year and are sanctioned by the Internation Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).
Buffalo Sabres that have competed in World Jr. Championships:
  • Maxim Afinogenov (Russia) – ’98 & ‘99
  • Tyler Bouck (Canada) – ’99 & ‘00
  • Chris Butler (USA) – ‘06
  • Tim Connolly (USA) – ‘99
  • Jhonas Enroth (Sweden) – ‘07 & ‘08
  • Nathan Gerbe (USA) – ’06 & ‘07
  • Philip Gogulla (Germany) – ‘07
  • Clarke MacArthur (Canada) – ‘05
  • Adam Mair (Canada) – ’99
  • Nathan Paetsch (Canada) – ’02 & ‘03
  • Dan Paille (Canada) – ’03 & ‘04
  • Derek Roy (Canada) – ‘03
  • Felix Schutz (Germany) – ‘07
  • Andrej Sekera (Slovakia) – ‘06
  • Drew Stafford (USA) – ’04 & ‘05
  • Thomas Vanek (Austria) – ‘04
  • Marek Zagrapan (Czech Republic) – ’05 & ‘06
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