Sweden was awarded the hosting of the event in May by the 2022 IIHF Annual Congress after the event had to be cancelled in Sweden in 2021 and relocated to the U.S. in 2022 due to Covid-19.
The original plan of the bid was to host the eight teams divided into two groups at the Ostersund Arena as main venue and nearby at Klanghallen in Brunflo as second venue. However, following site visits the International Ice Hockey Federation and the Swedish Ice Hockey Association decided to host the entire event at the Ostersund Arena with two ice sheets.
The reason is that although the venue in Brunflo is a charming ice rink, it does not fully meet the requirements to host an international championship.
“The ambition all along was to let Brunflo co-host, a fitting choice considering their commitment to girls’ hockey, but unfortunately Klanghallen didn’t meet all the requirements. Having the event in one arena in Ostersund also makes it easier logistically,” said Mikael Haglund, Director of the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship Organizing Committee.
The hockey community in Ostersund in the Jamtland County in the middle of Sweden is looking forward to hosting the event in five months.
“To us, it feels important, challenging and exciting to host this championship. It will produce many benefits for our organization, and we view this as a great opportunity to grow girls’ hockey,” said Ostersunds IK chairman Tommy Wahlund.
Despite hosting the event under one roof in Ostersund, local club Brunflo IK will remain part of the local organizing committee.
“We see the championship as a great opportunity for women’s hockey in our region. We will play a part in the hosting of this event, providing opportunities for the participating teams to play exhibition games in our arena. We will also help Ostersund IK with practice times for their youth teams, in order to keep their regular operation running during the tournament. We will also host different special events during the championship,” said Brunflo IK chairman Anton Waara.
The top-four seeded teams – defending champion Canada, the United States, Finland and host Sweden – will start the two-tiered competition in Group A. Czechia, Slovakia, Switzerland and recently-promoted Japan will play the preliminary round in Group B.
The game schedule and ticket information will be released at a later stage.