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 globe for this age group: Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the 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 the two Olympic venues together – 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 18-23, 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 take place on April 25 with the semi-finals occurring on the following day, and the final on April 28. The losing semi-finalists will compete for the bronze medal.