Despite coming up short in their quest to become the first host country since the Soviet Union in 1986 to win the gold medal at the IIHF World Championship, Canada has overtaken Sweden – whom it defeated in a semi-final at the world championship – to regain first place in the 2008 IIHF World Ranking.
The IIHF World Ranking reflects performances at the last four IIHF World Championships (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) and the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Canada won silver at the 2005 world championship, was fourth in 2006, won gold in 2007 and took home silver in 2008. It also finished 7th at the 2006 Olympics.
The final ranking for 2008 also finalized the automatic berths and groupings for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, February 16-28, 2010 in Vancouver, BC. The top nine teams in the 2008 IIHF World Ranking automatically qualified for the Olympic tournament; the other three spots will be filled following qualification tournaments November 6-9, 2008, and February 5-8, 2009.
The groupings for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games are as follows:
Group A: Canada, United States, Switzerland, Qualifier 3
Group B: Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Qualifier 2
Group C: Sweden, Finland, Belarus, Qualifier 1
In addition, the groupings for the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Switzerland have been finalized. Canada will play in Group A with Slovakia, Belarus and newly-promoted Hungary.
The groupings for the 2009 IIHF World Championship are as follows:
Group A: Canada, Slovakia, Belarus, Hungary
Group B: Russia, Switzerland, Germany, France
Group C: Sweden, United States, Latvia, Austria
Group D: Finland, Czech Republic, Norway, Denmark
2008 IIHF WORLD RANKING
Canada also holds the top spot in the 2008 IIHF Women’s World Ranking.