Attendances at the Men's World Junior Ice Hockey Championship were low ©Getty Images

High ticket prices and the ongoing scandal within Hockey Canada have been blamed for low attendances at the rescheduled International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Men's World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, which saw the hosts become champions in Edmonton.

The 18,000 capacity Rogers Place failed to sell out once during the Championship, with 13,327 people watching Canada defeat Finland 3-2 in over-time.

Only 10 matches attracted a crowd of over 1,000 - with only three of those games not featuring the hosts.

A total of 3,252 people saw Sweden defeat Czech Republic 3-1 for the bronze medal, while the United States defeated Sweden 3-2 in front of 2,025 people.

Finland won 1-0 against Sweden in the semi-finals, with 1,044 attending.

This tournament was initially annulled in December after four days of competition due to COVID-19 outbreaks, with it being rescheduled for August, one of the factors that IIHF President Luc Tardif believes did not help.

"We knew August was not the best time and we did not expect the attendance that we do usually," said Tardif in a press conference at the Championship, as reported by Global News Canada.

However, ticket prices have also been blamed, with the best seats for the final ranging from CAD160 (£104/$122/€123) to CAD476 (£310/$365/€367), while the cheapest seats were CAD60 (£39/$46/€46).

Canada defeated Finland in overtime in front of a home crowd on Saturday ©Getty Images
Canada defeated Finland in overtime in front of a home crowd on Saturday ©Getty Images

IIHF tournament chair Henrik Bach Nielsen reminded the press that the organisation does not set the prices, but admitted prices seemed expensive.

"I do not know if the prices were set as normal world juniors and there was no reaction to this," he said.

"Personally, coming from Denmark, CAD50, CAD60, CAD100 for one of these games? 

"Yeah, that’s a high price.

"Why not, then, try to find an August price for the tickets?"

Hockey Canada said the COVID-19 delay was a factor, as well as the sexual assault scandals related to players in its previous junior teams which has caused issues in Hockey Canada since then.

"There is understandable scrutiny from Canadians of Hockey Canada and the culture of hockey," said a spokesperson.

Canadian Sports Minister Pascale St-Onge froze funding to Hockey Canada until the organisation met certain standards, while sponsors withdrew their support for the Championship.

Competition ended on Saturday (August 20).

Canada is to hold the 2023 Men's World Junior Championship too in Moncton and Halifax.