Ottawa hosting 2009 junior hockey worlds

Ottawa beat out four other communities for the right to stage the 2009 competition

The 2009 world hockey junior championship is coming to Ottawa.

Hockey Canada officially announced the nation's capital as the host of the prestigious tournament Wednesday afternoon.

Ottawa's bid to host the tournament was headed by Eugene Melnyk, owner of the NHL's Ottawa Senators, and Jeff Hunt, owner of the Ontario Hockey League's Ottawa 67's. This is the fourth time Ottawa tabled a proposal to host the event.

Ottawa beat out four other communities for the right to stage the 2009 competition: a joint bid from Calgary and Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, and another joint bid from Saskatoon and Regina.

The 10-team, 31-game tournament will be split between Scotiabank Place, the Senators' home rink, and the Ottawa Civic Centre, home of the 67's.

"The Ottawa bid included strong support from all levels of the game of hockey: the Ottawa District Hockey Association, the Canadian Hockey League and the NHL, which was an important part of their bid and presentation," said Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson.

"The hosting and excitement of this event in Ottawa will enhance hockey at all levels of the game in our country for many years to come."

The 2007 championship will be held in Sweden. A host has not been selected for 2008.

Canada has hosted the championship seven times: Vancouver/Kamloops/Kelowna, B.C. (2006), Halifax/Sydney, N.S. (2003), Winnipeg (1999), Red Deer, Alta., (1995), Saskatoon (1991), Hamilton (1986) and Montreal (1978).

Canada has won a medal in the past seven consecutive world hockey junior championships, including winning back-to-back gold medals the last two years.