Mexico wins IIHF U20 Division 3 Tournament in Front of Packed House

Mexico City fans didn't quite turn out for the opener of the IIHF U20 Division 3 Championships the way the organizers had hoped, with only 3000 spectators listed for the outdoor game in Zocalo square, but the crowds were pretty solid for the home team's games.  The team's performance probably helped, as Mexico never really hit a rough patch in earning promotion to Division 2B next year.  Serbia also earned promotion as the two teams dominated en route to meeting in the final game Tuesday night.  It was a packed house of about 3000 at Lomas Verdes Rink, literally standing room only with fans lined up along the empty sections around the boards. And they went home happy, with the home side controlling the often times chippy game from the start for a 4-2 victory.

Now, the 2011 IIHF U20 World Junior Hockey Championships are officially complete.  It'll be a couple of months before we find out the hosts of the various  events, and we'll need an official vote to confirm the change to a more competitive tiered format.  That vote won't happen until May at the Men's World Championships.  I've recapped the placement of the Championship level here, and the Division 1 and 2 level here, so here's a quick rundown of Division 3:

2011 IIHF U20 Div. 3 Final Standings
Overall Rank Country Div. 3 Record
35 Mexico Mx_medium
6-0-0-0 (18 pts)
36 Serbia Rs_medium
5-0-0-1 (15 pts)
37 North Korea Kp_medium
4-0-0-2 (12 pts)
38 Turkey Tr_medium
3-0-0-3 (9 pts)
39 New Zealand Nz_medium
2-0-0-4 (6 pts)
40 Bulgaria Bg_medium
0-1-0-5 (2 pts)
41 Chinese Taipei Tw_medium
0-0-1-5 (1 pt)

 

After the jump, I have the updated U20 Men's World Ranking.  This isn't my "Junior Hockey Program World Ranking" you see on the side, that includes the U18 results with equal value.  This is strictly for the U20 level:

2011 Men's U20 World Ranking
Rank Country 2011 2010 2009 2008 Total 2012 Tournament Up/Down
1 Canada 2 2 1 1 2930 Championship -
2 United States 3 1 6 4 2825 Championship +1
3 Russia 1 6 3 3 2820 Championship +1
4 Sweden 4 3 2 2 2810 Championship -2
5 Finland 6 5 7 6 2595 Championship -
6 Switzerland 5 4 11 9 2585 Championship +2
7 Czech Republic 7 7 6 5 2535 Championship -1
8 Slovakia 8 8 4 7 2515 Championship -1
9 Latvia 11 9 8 12 2355 Championship -
10 Germany 10 11 9 11 2340 Division 1A -
11 Norway 9 12 16 16 2250 Division 1A +4
12 Denmark 12 13 14 10 2225 Championship -
13 Austria 15 10 12 13 2215 Division 1A -2
14 Belarus 14 14 13 14 2160 Division 1A -
15 Slovenia 13 16 18 15 2095 Division 1A +1
16 Kazakhstan 18 17 10 8 2095 Division 1B -3
17 Italy 17 15 17 24 2000 Division 1B -
18 Ukraine 22 18 19 20 1850 Division 2A -
19 France 23 21 15 19 1830 Division 1B -
20 Great Britain 16 24 26 22 1800 Division 1A +5
21 Croatia 19 20 23 28 1800 Division 1B +2
22 Japan 20 19 24 26 1795 Division 1B -
23 Poland 24 22 20 18 1750 Division 1B -3
24 Lithuania 21 23 25 21 1730 Division 2A -
25 Hungary 25 25 21 17 1680 Division 2A -4
26 The Netherlands 26 26 28 25 1535 Division 2A +1
27 Spain 27 27 31 29 1450 Division 2A +2
28 South Korea 28 29 27 27 1450 Division 2A -
29 Estonia 31 31 22 24 1425 Division 2B -3
30 Romania 29 28 33 31 1365 Division 2B -
31 Belgium 30 30 29 30 1360 Division 2B -
32 China 34 32 34 34 1180 Division 3 +2
33 Mexico 35 34 30 32 1180 Division 2B -1
34 Serbia 36 33 32 36 1135 Division 2B -1
35 Australia 32 35 DNP 38 925 Division 2B +1
36 Iceland 33 36 DNP 33 915 Division 3 -1
37 New Zealand 39 38 DNP 35 755 Division 3 -
38 Turkey 38 40 DNP 40 720 Division 3 -
39 North Korea 37 37 DNP DNP 700 Division 3 +1
40 Bulgaria 40 41 DNP 41 660 Division 3 -1
41 Chinese Taipei 41 39 DNP DNP 590 Division 3 -
42 Armenia DNP DNP DNP 37 100 ? -
43 South Africa DNP DNP DNP 39 90 ? -

 

The points system goes as follows:  1200 points for 1st, 1160 for 2nd, 1120 for 3rd, 1100 for 4th, 1060 for 5th, 1040 for 6th, 1000 for 7th and then down by 20 points each until you hit 320 for 41st.  The most recent year is worth full value, 2010 is worth 75%, 2009 is worth 50%, and 2008 is worth 25%.  That's approximately how the IIHF does it for the Men's and Women's Ranking, so I've applied it here for the U20 tournaments. 

Russia's rise to gold has moved them past Sweden on the rankings, but not quite past the 2010 Champions in the USA, who moved ahead of Sweden with their win in the bronze medal game.  Canada retains the top spot, as always making the Final will tend to do that.  The Swiss surpass the Czechs and Slovaks to become the 6th most successful nation at this level, while Norway gets a nice bump from a rare appearance at the top level.  The biggest mover in either direction is Great Britain, who rode the hot goaltending of Ben Bowns to place eight places higher than the previous year, bumping them upwards five spots in total to crack the top twenty.  Hungary was the biggest loser this year, as they have struggled to escape Division 2 as their time as a solid Division 1 team is fading. 

You may notice that there are a lot of DNP's near the bottom of the 2009 column, and that is because the U20s were cancelled that year.  Another notable quirk is China, who were actually relegated in 2008, but got back in the Division 2 level in 2009 because New Zealand, who had won the Division 3 tournament the year prior, decided not to send their team due to budget concerns.  So China's demotion to Division 3 is long overdue, having escaped it twice before. 

We've had two years of the same 41 countries participating, and hopefully all 41 will be back next year.  The Division 3 level is probably two or three countries away from expanding to a 3A/3B format, but there seems to be little interest in doing that at this time.

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