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Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., will be co-hosts of the 2021 world junior hockey championship, Hockey Canada announced Thursday.

It will mark the tournament’s return to Alberta for the first time since Calgary and Edmonton jointly held the 2012 event, drawing a record 455,342 fans.

Red Deer, which is about halfway between Calgary and Edmonton, was the primary host of the 1995 championship, with some games played in other cities and towns in central Alberta.

“To return to Alberta is an incredible opportunity for Hockey Canada and the IIHF World Junior Championship,” Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer of Hockey Canada, said in a statement. “The province of Alberta and the cities of Edmonton and Red Deer have a history of hosting successful, world-class events.

“We are confident in this committee’s ability to successfully execute on its vision for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, and we look forward to working with them to ensure we leave a lasting legacy in Alberta and across the country that helps us continue to grow and foster the game from the grassroots to elite levels.”

Victoria and Vancouver will be co-hosts of the 2019 tournament, which begins on Dec. 26. It will be the 13th time the event has been held in Canada.

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