- 04 Oct 2004
- Olympic News
Turin 2006: Canada plays Italy in opening game of hockey tournament
Defending 2002 Olympic Games gold medallist Canada will face host Italy on the opening day of the men's Olympic ice hockey tournament at the XX Olympic Winter Games in Turin. The match will be played on 15 February in the 10,500-seat Palasport Olimpico in Turin city centre. The ice hockey tournament schedule for the Turin Olympic Games was presented to the participating nations on 1 October 2004 during the IIHF Semi-Annual Congress in Belek, Turkey.
Two groups: 12 teams
Canada plays in Group A with Italy, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and a qualifying team to be decided later. Sweden, the top-ranked team in Group B, takes on Slovakia, the USA, Russia and two qualifying teams to be decided later. The four top teams of each group advance to the quarter-finals.
"We feel very privileged to play the host nation on the opening day of the Olympic tournament", said Hockey Canada President Bob Nicholson, present in Turkey for the IIHF Congress. "This will be a big game in Canada, especially considering the vast Italian community in our country."
The IIHF, along with the IOC and the Turin 2006 organisers, have constructed a compressed 12-team men's schedule, which will see teams play six games in the opening eight days. The teams that end up in the gold medal game will play eight games in 12 days. The final is on 26 February.
"For all scenarios"
"We have done this in order to accommodate the NHL if it decides to make a break in its schedule, just like in 1998 and 2002, and to make the entire player pool available for the greatest sport event there is", said IIHF President René Fasel. "But this schedule works perfectly for all scenarios."
Women's tournament: eight teams
Also in the women's tournament, Canada starts against host Italy. Canada beat the USA for the gold medal in Salt Lake City 2002. Three teams in the eight-team Olympic women's tournament are still be to decided by qualifying tournaments in November 2004. In women's Group A, Canada faces Sweden, Italy and one qualifying team. The USA, the top seed in Group B, plays Finland and two qualifying teams.
Learn more on Turin 2006
Official website of Turin 2006