On April 18, 2013, the Ice Hockey Under 18 World Championship, led by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia (IHFR) in partnership with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), starts at two Olympic Park ice arenas. Sochi will welcome ten of the best national teams from across the world for this age group: Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and USA.
The IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship will be the first international Sochi 2014 test event held at the 2014 Olympic ice hockey competition venues. As part of the 2012-2013 test events, over 380 Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee employees will test together the two Olympic venues – the "Bolshoy" Ice Dome and "Shayba" Arena.
The competition favorites are the team from the USA which has won the last four world championships. As the competition host and three-time winner of the world championships, the Russian team will attempt to break the hold of the "Stars and Stripes" and will play them in their first game in the preliminary stage on April 18. Two-time world champions Canada and Finland are also leading medal candidates.
At the preliminary stage, 10 teams will be divided into two groups of five. After a series of round robin games from April 18 to 23, the four best teams from each group advance to the playoff round. The teams that finish in fifth place in the groups, enter a round to avoid relegation from the World Championship's top division.
The quarterfinals will be held on April 25 with the semi-finals the following day and the final on April 28. The losing semi-finalists will compete for the bronze medal.
Tickets for the Ice Hockey U18 World Championship are on sale at www.parter.ru and www.kontramarka.ru. For more information on events and to book tickets, please contact the call center: +7 (495) 258-0000, +7 (495) 933-3200. To gain access to the events, spectators must have a valid ticket and a Spectator Pass. You can find all the information you need about the Spectator Pass, and how to obtain one, on the website link.
For more information on the U18 World Championship, go to the competition's official website.
René Fasel, President of the International Ice Hockey Federation:
"For its 15th edition, the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship will take place at the site of the next Winter Games, giving hockey fans a chance to get their first look at the wonderful new Olympic arenas that will be christened with this tournament.
"The lucky teams competing in the tournament this year will be among the first to play in the Olympic venues, including the 12,000-capacity "Bolshoy" Ice Dome, which will host the U18 final and next year the Olympic gold medal game."
Valery Fesyuk, Executive director of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia, co-chairman of the Organizing Committee of the U18 World Championship:
"Preparing for the World Championship is always a huge and difficult task. By combining and consolidating the efforts of the Organizing Committee, SC "Olympstroy" and IHFR, we can now say: "Yes, we are ready to take this championship to the highest world level.
"Both arenas are stunningly beautiful and designed for ice hockey. "Bolshoy" is a palace for more festive and ceremonial events, such as the opening, closing ceremonies and the final games. "Shayba" is technically focused only on ice hockey, it is quite cozy and satisfies all of the competition needs. Young talents from all the leading countries will test the ice, and, of course, we would like to see it to be lucky. There will be certain pressure on the Russian guys, who will be playing at home in front of their fans.
"The climax of the year will take place in August, when there will be a pre-Olympic meeting of the Russian national team so that they can check out their locker room, feel the ice and play a game against Sweden. I think that the "Bolshoy" Ice Dome is fully prepared for this, and meets all requirements."
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.