The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship comes to a close Tuesday in
Edmonton, as does a rollercoaster journey that has lasted more than two
years for the host organizing committee.
Fans watching on TSN see the action on the ice, but the action behind the
scenes – especially this year in a bubble – is a major part of welcoming
the world to what has become one of the most-watched tournaments on the
international hockey calendar.
“When you look at where we started two years ago and where we are finishing
today, no one could have predicted the ups and downs,” says Riley Wiwchar,
executive director of the 2021 World Juniors. “This year, more than ever,
it is about more than the 12 days of hockey; it is about the efforts of
more than a thousand people inside and outside the bubble who should be so
proud of what they accomplished.”
So what exactly goes into – and comes out of – hosting a once-in-a-lifetime
World Juniors? Let’s take a look at the numbers:
Attendance for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship. Due to the ongoing
COVID-19 pandemic, all 28 tournament games were played without fans in the
Shutouts for Canadian goaltender Devon Levi, tying the all-time World
Juniors record set by Justin Pogge for Canada in 2006.
Points for tournament co-leaders Dylan Cozens (Canada) and Trevor Zegras
(United States), the most since Jesse Puljujärvi had 17 in 2016, and the
first time two players have recorded that many at the same World Juniors
since Peter Forsberg (31) and Markus Naslund (24) in 1993.
Days spent in the bubble by the final four teams; players and staff arrived
to begin quarantine on Dec. 13, were on the ice for their first practices
on Dec. 18, began pre-tournament play on Dec. 22 and dropped the puck to
open the tournament on Dec. 25.
Officials, all of them Canadian, who worked the 2021 IIHF World Junior
Hockey Canada and IIHF World Junior Championship partners who activated
during the tournament, including Tim Hortons, OK Tire, Swiss Chalet, Janes,
Dairy Farmers of Canada and Spikeball.
Volunteers to help the tournament run behind the scenes. Of that, 20 were
inside the bubble as part of the transportation, team services and off-ice
officials groups. At a typical World Juniors in Canada, the volunteer team
would total more than 700.
Media availabilities done through Zoom from Dec. 18, the first day teams
were out of quarantine, through the semifinals. This includes IIHF press
conferences with both teams after each game, and availabilities done by
teams prior to games, after practices and on off-days.
Staff in the bubble for TSN and RDS to broadcast every pre-tournament,
preliminary-round and playoff-round game in Edmonton. This includes
everyone from play-by-play man Gord Miller to production runners, camera
operators, fibre-optic technicians and make-up artists.
Goals scored through the semifinals. The highest single-game total came in
Canada’s 16-2 win over Germany on Boxing Day, while the lowest was
Slovakia’s 1-0 victory over Switzerland in the opening game of the
Players who dressed for at least one game. The list includes 43 players who
were selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft (Canada – 19;
United States – 9; Sweden – 6; Russia – 5; Finland – 2; Austria – 1;
Germany – 1).
Accredited media representing all 10 competing nations. Not surprisingly,
Canadian media comprise the largest delegation – 80 media from 33 different
Individuals who were permanently inside the bubble from the arrival of
teams in Dec. 13. That does not include Rogers Place and hotel staff who
worked inside the bubble and were tested daily, but were not permanent
Days between Edmonton and Red Deer being awarded the 2021 IIHF World Junior
Championship (Dec. 6, 2018) and the gold medal game between Canada and the
United States (Jan. 5, 2021). It has been only 111 days (Sept. 17, 2020)
since Hockey Canada and the IIHF announced Edmonton would host all 28 games
in a bubble.
Accreditations issued, which includes all players, team staff, officials,
volunteers, Hockey Canada staff, International Ice Hockey Federation staff
and venue staff at Rogers Place.
Minutes of hockey played through the end of the semifinals. Only two games
have gone beyond 60 minutes – Germany’s 4-3 win over Slovakia on Dec. 28,
and Russia’s 4-3 victory over Sweden on Dec. 30 that snapped the Swedes’
54-game win streak in the preliminary round.
Meals delivered to individuals in the bubble during quarantine at the J.W.
Marriott and Sutton Place Hotel.
Towels used by teams and officials during the 2021 IIHF World Junior
Championship. To comply with COVID-19 protocols, each towel was used only
once and then laundered.
COVID-19 tests performed on players, team staff, Hockey Canada staff,
International Ice Hockey Federation staff, TSN and volunteers from the
start of quarantine on Dec. 13 through Jan. 4.
Questionnaires completed through the Clear Health Pass app. Everyone inside
the bubble was required to complete the questionnaire twice daily and check
their temperature before entering Rogers Place.
Photos taken by Hockey Canada Images photographer Matthew Murnaghan. They
included on-ice action, Team Canada headshots, behind-the-scenes exclusives
and partner activations.
Followers of @HC_WJC on Twitter, 13,602 (12.6%) of whom were added in the
four weeks from Dec. 8 to Jan. 4. The account had 12,977 mentions, and the
552 tweets sent during those 28 days earned 39,714,132 impressions.
Page views at HockeyCanada.ca on Jan. 4, the highest single-day total ever
for the website. In all, there were 7,047,593 views between Dec. 25 and
Dollar total for the 50/50 draws for all 11 game days through the end of
the semifinals, with half the proceeds ($12,179,780) going to the Hockey
Alberta Foundation to support grassroots hockey initiatives in the
province. The highlight was Jan. 4, with a WJC-record $10,583,345 jackpot.