COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey and the host Metro Sports Foundation are pleased to confirm that the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Men’s U18 Championship will take place in Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn., April 9-19 as scheduled.
“We need this tournament, we want this tournament and we’re excited about this world-class event coming to Fargo-Moorhead,” said Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker. “While we will not let our guard down in regard to the flood danger, this event will be a much-needed and positive distraction for everyone.”
The 10-nation tournament – including the United States, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Russia, Finland, Slovakia and Norway -- features the world's best players under 18 years of age. It has never before been conducted in the United States.
“There have been a lot of questions – and rightfully so – about the ability and will of the Fargo-Moorhead community to stage this world championship with the duress they’ve been under because of the potential of flooding,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “We’ve had staff on the ground in the area for the last two days visiting with local leaders and touring the area, and we’re extremely pleased the conditions warrant moving forward with the event as planned.”
“The resolve of the people in the Red River Valley region is truly remarkable,” said Mike Bertsch, assistant executive for USA Hockey. “I’ve had the chance to see first-hand the past two days that the area is well prepared to host this major event despite having had to deal with a major flood threat.”
The tournament – to be staged at the Urban Plains Center in Fargo and the Moorhead Sports Center in Moorhead -- begins Thursday, April 9, and concludes with the gold-medal game on Sunday, April 19.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)