Ice hockey at Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games: Everything you need to know

Get ready for some hard-hitting, sharp-shooting, net-busting fun as the brightest young talents in the game face off on Swiss ice.

Picture by IOC

Lausanne 2020 will host the best youth ice hockey players at the third Winter Youth Olympic Games. All matches will take place at the Malley ice rink in Lausanne from the 10th to the 22nd of January 2020.

With the qualification already decided for the 6-on-6 tournament, here are the teams that we will watch play for podium places in the Olympic headquarters host city:

Women's teams: Switzerland, Sweden, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Japan.

Men's teams: Switzerland, Canada, Russia, USA, Finland, Denmark.

Sweden won the ladies gold medal at Lillehammer 2016 over the Czech Republic, and the USA are defending champions on the men's side after they defeated Canada four years ago in a thrilling seven-goal final.

Golden hat-trick for Sweden?

Sweden are reigning double champions having won the women's gold medal at Innsbruck 2012 and Lillehammer 2016, now they have a chance to make it an incredible three-in-a-row in Lausanne.

Finland look most likely to challenge the Swedish reign in the absence of five-time running world champs USA, but it'll take something special to stop their Scandinavian neighbours.

USA first title defenders?

This is the third version of the WYOGs and we've had two different men's winners - Finland in 2012 and the U.S. in 2016 - so Team USA can become the first men's team to successfully defend their title. They'll have to watch out for arch-rivals Canada, who'll be out to avenge that loss in Lillehammer. This men's tournament is an unpredictable one.

In 2012, the two finallists were Finland and Russia with the U.S. and Canada battling it out for bronze. In 2016, the finals and semis flipped with U.S.-Canada playing for gold and Finland-Russia going at it for bronze. Expect those four to be in the mix this time around too.

Hockey sur glace
Picture by IOC

Mixed NOC 3-on-3

The big innovation for ice hockey at the Lausanne Games is the Mixed NOC 3-on-3 competition, which replaces the men's and women's skills challenge.

With a full rink divided in two by a hard wall, teams of three players plus a goalkeeper will battle it out in an even faster, goal-frenzied version of ice hockey. Two games go on side-by-side, one in each end-zone, and as the name suggests, players from different countries and different NOC's (National Olympic Committees) will play together promoting integration and understanding between cultures.

Players from all over the world selected through national skills challenge competitions will be mixed into teams of 11 skaters and two goaltenders. The goalkeepers will be selected on youth ranking - the same system used to select 6 on 6 net-minders.

Check out what 3-on-3 hockey looks like right here:

Lausanne 2020 6-on-6 Ice Hockey schedule

Qualifying games: from Friday 17 to Tuesday 21

Medal games: Tuesday, January 21

17:00 - 19:00 - Women's Bronze Medal Game

20:00 - 22:00 - Women's Gold Medal Game

Wednesday, January 22

12:00 - 14:00 - Men's Bronze Medal Game

15:00 - 17:00 - Men's Gold Medal Game

Lausanne 2020 Mixed NOC 3-on-3 Ice Hockey schedule

Qualifying games: from Friday 10 to Tuesday 14  

Medal games: Wednesday, January 15

12:00 - 13:30 - Women's/Men's Bronze Medal Game

13:30 - 15:00 - Women's/Men's Gold Medal Game


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