ZURICH, Switzerland – Canada reclaims the top position in the IIHF Women’s World Ranking after its overtime victory in the gold medal game against the U.S. on Saturday, April 14 at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship.
Canada overtakes the Unites States for the top position in the world ranking, which reflects the performance at Women’s World Championships and Olympic Winter Games in the last four years (2009-2012), with higher value placed on the most recent tournaments.
The United States claimed the top position in 20, while Canada led the ranking in all other years since its introduction in 2004.
The ranking lists 36 countries that have participated with women’s national teams in IIHF events in the last four seasons and saw several other changes.
Switzerland advanced from sixth to fourth place after surprisingly winning its first ever bronze medal in women’s hockey earlier this month. The Swiss will now play among the top-four teams in the preliminary round of the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Ottawa, Ont., and at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
The Swiss success was at the expense of Sweden, which is now ranked fifth, while Russia also lost a place and follows in sixth place.
These six teams receive an automatic bye for the Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which includes eight teams. The format of the Olympic tournament and the qualification process were approved by the 2011 IIHF Annual Congress last May.
The remaining two teams will be determined in the Olympic Qualification that includes the Final Olympic Qualification (two tournaments taking place February 7-10, 2013), the Olympic Pre-Qualification (two tournaments taking place November 8-11, 2012) and if required, a preliminary qualification.
Slovakia and Germany, ranked seventh and eighth respectively, earned the right to host the Final Olympic Qualification tournaments, thanks to their placement in the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Ranking.
The following teams – sorted according to the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Ranking – have registered to participate in the qualification tournaments: Slovakia, Germany, Kazakhstan, Norway, Japan, Czech Republic, China, Latvia, Austria, France, Great Britain, Italy, Denmark, Slovenia, Hungary, Korea, Poland, Spain. The final seeding and venues of the qualification tournaments are to be confirmed.
Seeding for the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Ottawa, Ont.:
Seeding for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia: