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Grand Forks hoping to host World Junior puck meet again

The first one — in 2005 — seem to go well. So why not host the World Junior Hockey Championships again? At least that they are thinking in Grand Forks.
Grand Fiorks, ND isn’t exactly the middle of the universe. For two weeks in late 2005 and early 2006, it was the capital of the youth hockey world. And it would like to repeat the honor in a couple of years.

Ralph Engelstad Arena, home of the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, has put in a bid to be the main locale for games in the 2011 World tournament. The event starts during Christmas week, 2010 and runs through the first week of the new year.

“We learned a ton of things from the 2005 event and the World Curling event,” said Jody Hodgson, REA’s general manager. “I think we give USA Hockey the best opportunity to maximize its profits.

“One way to learn things in life is by rolling up your sleeves and doing it. We have learned a lot of things to apply to the 2011 tournament, given the opportunity.”

In 2005, Grand Forks hosted the majority of games but some were also played in nearby Thief River Falls, MN. This time, Moorhead, 82 miles south of Grand Forks, has joined in as the second site for games.

Attendance at the 2005 tournament was the most ever when played outside of Canada and the second most in the event’s history. Still, Ralph Engelstad is anything but a sure deal to host the event. USA HOCKEY, the main arm of amateur hockey in the countries, has received 26 entries to host the event, which is for the top under-20 players in the world.