Slovakia welcomes juniors
Slovakia welcomes juniors
Ticket sale for U18 Worlds opens
The championship of this age category is basically the first event where players have the opportunity to test their strength against the World elite.
Slovakia will host the U18 Championship after a long period of 15 years. While the championship in 2002 was hosted by Piestany and Trnava, it will now take place in Poprad a Spisska Nova Ves.
“We chose these two cities for many reasons. The first reason is that there is a very good infrastructure. The arenas are at a good level as well as the location itself. Fans can visit the High Tatra Mountains between games and on the other side all skiers can come and see games with the future hockey stars,” said Miroslav Valicek, General Secretary of the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation, during the first press conference dedicated to the event.
The World Championship at this age category is very important for hockey players. And therefore, the ambassador of the current 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship became Lubomir Visnovsky, a world champion in 2002 and one of the best Slovak defenders.
“I participated twice at the championship of this category. For the players it will be a great experience that will help them in their future careers. It is the best tournament to play at this age. In addition it is the last step before they become adult hockey players,” said Visnovsky.
Rehearsal games at the Dzurilla tournament
Before the championship will start, the Slovak team is going to have rehearsal games at the V. Dzurilla tournament. At the beginning of February, a group of players will meet in Piestany and later on will be selected for the final team for the Worlds.
”Most of the players are currently abroad, therefore I am very pleased to see them and in what shape they are; even though we are still in contact most of the time. Personally, I am glad that the championship is held in Slovakia, because of the home environment and that atmosphere will definitely motiveate them to play the best they can,” said Norbert Javorčík, head coach of the Slovak U18 national team. Beside this tournament, the Slovak team will also play a game against Czech Team on 8th April in Zilina and two days later against Sweden in Poprad.
Tickets on sale now
The Organizing Committee, headed by its president Igor Nemecek, has decided to divide the tickets sale into several stages. It means that prices will tend to rise. At the moment there are all-day ticket packages offered.
“Starting from today, the price of all-day tickets starts from 5 euros (preliminary round), 7 euros for the quarter-finals and semi-finals. For the bronze and gold medal games fans will pay 9 euros,” said the tournament director Roman Stambersky and added: “Closer to the championship, prices will slightly increase.“ So eventually at the end, day tickets will cost 7 euros for the preliminary round, 8 euros for quarter-finals and semi-finals. The bronze and gold games will cost 10 euros. In the last stage of the tickets sale there will be the possibility to buy remaining tickets for individual games. Tickets are available online on www.predpredaj.sk and it is possible to buy them at 78 stores around Slovakia.
Two groups of ten teams
There will be ten teams in two groups in the tournament. In Poprad, Slovak fans will be able to see the Slovak team competing against the team from Canada and the world champions from Finland. Also Latvia and Switzerland will play in the group. The city of Spisska Nova Ves will be home for the teams from the Czech Republic, Belarus, Russia, Sweden and United States.
The tournament will start with the first games of the preliminary round on Thursday, 13 April. The best four teams from each group will play the quarter-finals, which are dated on April 20. The final games are set on the weekend of 22nd and 23rd April.
2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship
Dates: 13th – 23th April 2017
Venues: Poprad, Spisska Nova Ves
Group A: Finland, Canada, Slovakia, Switzerland, Latvia
Group B: Sweden, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Belarus
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