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Canadian Press
Nov 15, 2006, 11:05 AM EST

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) - Finland hired former minor-league coach Doug Shedden on Wednesday to lead the national ice hockey team through the 2008 IIHF world hockey championship.

The 45-year-old from Wallaceburg, Ont., will be replaced by assistant coach Jukka Jalonen after the worlds. "We will try to carry on the tradition what Finnish hockey is all about - hard working," Shedden said.

Finland reached the Olympic final earlier this year but lost to Sweden. The Finns also took the bronze medal at the worlds in Latvia.

The 2007 world championship will be played in Moscow while the 2008 tournament will be split between Quebec City and Halifax.

"It is an advantage to have Doug at the worlds in Canada 2008, to be played in small rinks, and with most of the players from North American teams," Finnish Hockey Association president Kalervo Kummola said. "Doug is a brilliant coach who also motivates players, unearths their strengths, and he has got a strong authority."

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