Men’s Division I to Kyiv and Belfast
The top division of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in the men’s category has been awarded for the next four years to Cologne, Germany, and Paris, France, from 5-21 May 2017, to Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark, in 2018, to Bratislava and Kosice, Slovakia, in 2019, and to Zurich and Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2020. The 2021 edition will be awarded in a year.
The Palace of Sports in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv will host the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A from 22-28 April 2017. The city’s traditional venue for ice hockey event most recently hosted an Olympic Qualification event in 2012. The bid got the majority vote against the one from Austria with a city that would have been determined later.
The two relegated teams here in Russia – Hungary and Kazakhstan – together with Poland, Austria, Korea and host Ukraine will battle for two spots in the top division for Denmark 2018.
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom, was named host of the tier below, the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B, from 23-29 April 2017. The bid supported by the local authorities and the Belfast Giants won against the one from Tallinn, Estonia. The event will be staged in the 7,400-seat SSE Ice Arena that was recently refurbished.
“The last World Championship held in the UK was almost 25 years ago,” said Ice Hockey UK Chairman Richard Grieveson. “We believe we are now well-prepared and experienced to deliver a first-class Men’s World Championship tournament.”
In the U20 category the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship with the top nations will take place in Montreal and Toronto, Canada, from 26 December 2016 to 5 January 2017.
The tier below was assigned to Bremerhaven, Germany, which won with its bid against Almaty, Kazakhstan. The 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A will take place from 11-17 December 2016 with Belarus, Austria, Kazakhstan, Norway, Germany and France battling for promotion. The Division I Group B will take place at the new Tuskecsarnok rink in Budapest, Hungary.
The IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championships of the next two years were previously awarded to Poprad and Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia, 13-23 April 2017 and to Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk, Russia, in 2018. The application from Sweden for the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship was accepted by Congress with the cities to be determined at a later stage.
The 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship with the top nations will take place in Plymouth, USA, 1-8 April 2017. The Division I Group A event in the women’s category will be staged in Austria – either in Graz or Linz – from 15-21 April 2017.
The 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship was awarded to Prerov and Zlin, Czech Republic, which successfully hosted the event in 2012 and set an attendance record that was only broken this year by St. Catharines, Canada.
Events for the Olympic Qualification for the upcoming season were awarded as well.
On the women’s side the qualification begins in autumn. While the top-5 teams of the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Ranking – USA, Canada, Finland, Russia and Sweden – as well as host Korea are already qualified, two more teams will be searched.
In total a record 30 countries entered teams for the Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament and the qualification process. In each of the groups in the four-stage qualification the top-seeded team had the right to host the event, which was executed in most cases.
This means that Switzerland will host Group C of the Final Olympic Qualification set to take place 9-12 February 2017 that also includes the Czech Republic, Denmark and a qualifier while Japan hosts Group D with Germany, Austria and a qualifier from the preliminary round. The cities will be announced later.
On the men’s side the preliminary rounds were already played this season and the Final Olympic Qualification is set to take place from 1st to 4th September 2016. Belarus will host Group D at Minsk Arena with Slovenia, Denmark and Poland. Group E will be hosted by Latvia at Arena Riga with Germany, Austria and Japan. And Group F will take place at the classic Jordal Amfi rink in Oslo with host Norway, France, Kazakhstan and Italy. Due to the dates the teams will have the possibility of using their NHL players.
The top-8 teams of the 2015 IIHF Men’s World Ranking – Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, USA, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Slovakia – as well as host Korea are already qualified and will be joined by the three tournament winners.
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