On April 18th, the 2013 Ice Hockey U18 World Championship has officially kicked off with the first games at the ice arenas in the Olympic Park in Sochi. The tournament is held by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia in partnership with the International Ice Hockey Federation.
In Group A, at the “Bolshoy” Ice Dome, team Finland left no chances to Latvia (7:0) as hosts Russia defeated the reigning world champions, team USA, in a highly-contested match – 4:3. In Matchday 2, Finland and Russia will fight for a preliminary first place in the group.
Mika Marttila (Finland), head coach:
- Very important game for us at the start of the tournament: seven goals scored, three points, and no goals conceded. We enjoy our victory for two hours and then we focus on the next game against Russia, so tomorrow we will practice with concentration on that game. The facilities here are extraordinary, very-very good, and from this we can feel the spirit of Olympic Games, it’s fantastic.
Kasperi Kapanen (Finland), forward:
- Actually, I like the ice, it’s a little bit softer than in Finland but it feels good, and the rink feels good, as well as the atmosphere. When we play Russia, there will be even more people. I guess you can say that it feels like Olympic spirit here.
In Group B, at the “Shayba” Arena, Sweden scored nine goals against Germany’s one as Canada claimed its maiden 4:1 victory against Slovakia.
Donald Hay (Canada), head coach:
- Both facilities are great, they are beautiful. The people as hosts are really providing us with great hospitality. Everybody who is committed and involved to make a good tournament is doing a first-class job. We are excited to be here and we want to continue to play well in the tournament. We want to take time to see Sochi, we have a day plan for a tour and sightseeing, just to enjoy ourselves. So, we want to combine the hockey and the area. It is a great area we don’t know a lot about, so we want to make sure we enjoy when we are here.
Nicholas Baptiste (Canada), forward:
- We’ve been welcomed really nicely here, and we are just happy to be here. It’s gonna be great Olympics here, it will bring much for the city, and I am sure everyone will be excited.
Andre Burakowski (Sweden), forward:
- Very good arena, very nice, with good ice – everything is good. I think that Russia has done a very good job!
Jacob de la Rose (Sweden), forward:
- It was a tough game, we had a pretty bad start today but after we had scored the first goal, we kept going, and overall it was a good game for us. It’s a good arena and staff here.
Test Event in ice hockey is held with the support of Sochi 2014 Partners – Coca-Cola and Ingosstrakh.
Photo gallery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/43767123@N02/
Notes to the editor
The IIHF complex of venues is made up of the "Bolshoy" Ice Dome, the "Shayba" Arena, and the training arena. The venues are located in close proximity to one other, providing maximum convenience for athletes and guests of the Games.
The "Bolshoy" Ice Dome is a building with a domed roof. The design of the arena is based on the image of a frozen water drop. The dome roof is mainly silver in color.
The name of the Ice Dome highlights the characteristics of this sports venue. The "Bolshoy" (the Russian word for "big") will be one of the biggest Olympic venues, hosting events in one of the most popular sports of the Winter Olympics. At the same time, the word "Bolshoy" is understandable and familiar to people from many different countries, evoking associations with Russia – the Bolshoy Theatre, the traditions of the Russian school of ballet, figure skating, ice hockey and other achievements of the biggest country in the world.
The "Shayba" Arena is designed to look like a snowdrift. It would be impossible to imagine a game of ice hockey without a "shayba" or puck. The name precisely portrays the purpose of the venue. Also, for Russians, shouting "Shaybu!" is a universal and familiar way of showing support for hockey teams in different competitions. Therefore, this name highlights the character of the "Russian" Winter Games.