Ice Hockey Division I World Championship: a Chance for Ukrainian Team
Kyiv, April 20, 2011. Ukraine’s national hockey team claims its rights to join world’s hockey elites. On April 17-23, Ukraine hosts the Division I World Championship in ice hockey. The ice hockey teams from Ukraine, Great Britain, Poland, Lithuania, Kazakhstan and Estonia participate in the Group B tournaments in Kyiv.
Ukraine lost its position in hockey top division in 2007. This time the national team has to compete with five strong competitors who also wish to claim entrance to the top division. Currently, the Ukrainian hockey team is coached by Canadian Dave Lewis.
Ukrainian team lost 3-5 to Great Britain on Sunday April 17, however defeated Lithuania 5-1 on a Monday’s match. On April 20, Ukraine will compete with Poland; on April 21 – with Estonia and on the closing day of the championship the game Ukraine-Kazakhstan will take place.
The Championship venue is the recently renovated Palace of Sports where the new ice rink, scoreboard and new seats were installed specially for the hockey event. Since Ukraine aspires to host Top Division World Ice Hockey Championship in 2016 and Winter Olympic Games, the new ice arena has to be built in the country with at least 16 thousand seats capacity. The Palace of Sports, being one of the biggest Ukrainian sports venues with an ice-hockey rink can seat 6 thousand viewers.
In 2010, the International Ice Hockey Federation chose Ukraine as a host country of the 2011 Ice Hockey World Championship in the Division I. The winner of each of two Division I groups gets promoted to the next year’s IIHF World Championship. Division I consists of 12 teams divided into two groups A and B. Ukraine’s team along with Polish, British, Lithuanian, Estonian and Kazakh teams form a group B of the Division I. Group A teams of Italy, Japan, Hungary, South Korea, Netherlands and Spain are competing for the top division entry in Budapest on April 17-23.