The hockey players will face Canada or Finland in the group in Prague at the WC in a year

The hockey players will face Canada or Finland in the group in Prague at the WC in a year

The hockey players will face Canada or Finland in the group in Prague at the World Cup in a year

World Hockey Championship Group B match: Czech Republic – Canada, May 23, 2023, Riga. From left Ondřej Beránek from the Czech Republic and Vladimír Sobotka from the Czech Republic.

Tampere/Prague – The Czech hockey players will compete in the basic group B with Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Austria and Great Britain at next year's home world championship in Prague. Compared to the original plan, based on the wishes of the organizers, Canada and the USA exchanged positions. Sweden, Germany, Slovakia, Latvia, France, Kazakhstan and Poland will be represented in Group A in Ostrava together with the Americans. The organizers informed about it today.

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“Until the last match of this year's World Championship, we did not know the exact composition of the groups. That was decided only by the match for gold in Tampere. As an organizer, we have the option of one change. The number one priority for us was the placement of the Czech team in Prague and Slovakia in Ostrava. In this regard, we the ranking brought luck and we didn't have to deal with this exchange,” said the general secretary of the Czech Ice Hockey Association, Jan Černý, in a press release, adding that the second priority was the start of the Canadian players in the Czech capital.

The Czech national team is thus in the group will compete with the currently best countries according to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) rankings, Canada and Finland, as well as the teams that have dominated the last four world championships played. Canada won the title this year and in 2021, Finland in 2019 and 2022.

“Our preliminary negotiations with the representatives of the Maple Leafs are such that if they play in our capital, we can expect the arrival of hockey stars and thus use the potential of the current world champions in the Prague arena. We would like to give the audience the experience of watching the biggest possible stars of contemporary hockey. I think that the division could not have turned out better for the fans,” said Černý.

The top tournament in the Czech Republic was last held in 2015 and a total of 741,690 spectators attended the match, which is a World Cup record. The organizers believe that they will be able to repeat the great attendance.

“We would like to get closer to it and build on the successful championship. Both the Prague and Ostrava groups promise a battle of attractive teams. The fact that the Czechs will play in Prague and the Slovak national team in Ostrava promises high attendance in both arenas. Moreover, after more than two decades, we can look forward to the Poles at the championship, when we believe that, given the short distance, they will help to fill the Ostrava arena,” said the chairman of the organizing committee, Petr Bříza.

The composition of the groups must still be formally approved by the IIHF Council , the federation's marketing partner Infront and both overseas countries. Next year, the championship will take place from May 10 to 26, the exact tournament program will be published during the summer. ): USA, Germany, Sweden, Slovakia, Latvia, France, Kazakhstan and Poland.

Group B (Prague): Canada, Finland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Austria and Great Britain.