--- The draw for the 2005 IIHF World Championship in Austria (Vienna and Innsbruck, April 30 – May 15) was held in Innsbruck on Wednesday and determined the groups for next year’s championship.
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Following the draw, the preliminary round groups for the 2005 IIHF World Championship are as follows:
|Group A (Vienna)||Group B (Innsbruck)||Group C (Innsbruck)||Group D (Vienna)|
1. Czech Republic
The draw began with the host nation, Austria, seeding two teams of their choice, with one going to one of the two Vienna groups (A or D) and the other being seeded into one of the two Innsbruck groups (B or C). Austria selected to seed Slovakia in Vienna, because of its proximity to the Slovakian border, while defending champion, Canada was placed in Innsbruck.
The selected groups will provide several key geographical match-ups in the preliminary round. Group C features three Scandinavian squads (Sweden, Finland, Denmark), while Group B has both North American teams (Canada, USA). Host Austria will have some difficult games early on in Vienna as Russia and Slovakia are both in its Group A, while in the D Group, Germany-Switzerland figures to be a key game.
The names of the 16 participating teams were placed in four bowls according to their position in the IIHF World Ranking following the 2004 IIHF World Championship. Prior to the draw, the teams were put into the following categories according to the ranking:
Bowl 1 (1-4): Canada (1), Sweden (2), Slovakia (3) and Czech Republic (4).
Bowl 2 (5-8): Finland (5), USA (6), Russia (7) and Germany (8).
Bowl 3 (9-12): Switzerland (9), Latvia (10), Austria (11) and Ukraine (12).
Bowl 4 (13-16):Belarus (13), Denmark (14), Slovenia (16), Kazakhstan (17).
The draw continued with the teams of Bowl 4 being drawn into the four playing groups. The same procedure was applied for the Groups 3,2 and 1 until all 16 teams were slotted in the four groups, A, B, C and D.