The 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships will go down as one of the most exciting tournaments Ottawa has ever hosted. 16 years later, it’s back, with a tough act to follow.
In a press release today, Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League and the International Ice Hockey Federation announced that the 2025 World Juniors will be played in Ottawa, starting Boxing Day 2024.
“We are thrilled that the IIHF World Junior Championship will return to Canada and our nation’s capital in 2025,” Hockey Canada’s Pat McLaughlin said in a press release. “The bid that was submitted to host the World Juniors in Ottawa was exceptional, and we cannot wait for fans throughout Canada and the world to experience the celebration of hockey for themselves.
The Ottawa Senators and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group will be partners in hosting the event. There was a time when any level of cooperation between Ottawa’s two biggest professional sports groups would have been seen as highly unlikely, let alone marrying up for something this big. The groups have joined forces for the event with Ottawa Tourism, Hockey Eastern Ontario (HEO), the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa.
“Ottawa is the ideal place to host the 2025 IIHF World Junior Championship,” Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe said in a Hockey Canada press release. “Our love for hockey is second to none and our city rallies behind hockey at every level of the game, from youth hockey to our very successful junior hockey team, the Ottawa 67’s, to the highest level of the professional game, the Ottawa Senators.
“Ottawa hosted one of the most successful World Junior tournaments in 2009 and we regularly host national and international tournaments in our city.”
The 2009 World Juniors in Ottawa were memorable for the crazy semifinal finish when Canada defeated Russia 6-5 in a shootout. Down by a goal in the dying seconds, Jordan Eberle scored with 5.4 seconds left to force overtime, as the city and the nation went wild. Then, for good measure, Eberle scored what stood up as the winning goal in the shootout.
If the 2025 World Juniors are even half as good as they were in 2009, Ottawa hockey fans are in for a treat.