COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- USA Hockey announced today that the International Ice Hockey Federation has granted it the right to host three upcoming World Championships, including the 2009 IIHF World Men’s Under-18 Championship, the 2011 IIHF World Under-20 Championship and the 2012 IIHF World Women’s Championship. “We’re extremely pleased that the world hockey community has selected us to host these events,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “It will be terrific to showcase the world’s best hockey talent in the United States and to use these events to further promote participation in our sport.” The United States last staged a major international hockey championship in 2005 when Grand Forks, N.D., and Thief River Falls, Minn., hosted the IIHF World Under-20 Championship. “We had terrific cooperation from a lot of good people in Grand Forks and Thief River Falls in 2005,” said Ron DeGregorio, president of USA Hockey. “I’m confident we’ll have that same spirit and enthusiasm for the three events we’ll host in upcoming years.” NOTES: USA Hockey will put a formal bid process in place detailing the requirements for interested host cities for each of the above three events in the near future … Specific dates for each of the above championships have not been set, however, traditionally, the World Men’s Under-18 and World Women’s Championships are held in April, while the World Under-20 Championship is conducted in late December/early January … The United States has never hosted the IIHF World Men’s Under-18 Championship, an event that began in 1999. The United States has hosted the IIHF World Women’s Championship, which began in 1990, two previous times – in 2001 in Minnesota (Minneapolis hosted medal games) and in 1994 in Lake Placid, N.Y. The United States has staged the IIHF World Under-20 Championship on four previous occasions, including 2005 in Grand Forks, N.D. and Thief River Falls, Minn.; in 1996 in Boston; in 1989 in Anchorage, Alaska; and in 1982 in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. The event commenced in 1977.