Six teams will look to keep their Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games hopes alive when the puck drops at the eighth edition of the World Para ice hockey Championships B-Pool on Friday (17 September) in Ostersund, Sweden.
The round-robin style tournament will take place until 22 September at Ostersund Arena, which holds up to 2,700 spectators. The top three finishers from Ostersund will advance to the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games Qualification Tournament later this year, and the top two finishers will also be promoted to the A-Pool for the 2022-23 season.
“Ostersund has proven itself to be an incredible hub for winter sports over the last several decades, and we are excited to bring Para ice hockey back there after it hosted a very successful World Championships B-Pool in 2015 and European Championships in 2016,” said Michelle Laflamme, World Para Ice Hockey Manager.
“We expect to see the six participant nations playing their very best hockey as they look to continue on the road to qualifying for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.”
Each team will play five matches over six days, and all games will be streamed live on World Para Ice Hockey’s website and Facebook page.
Poland and China open the programme
Host nation Sweden, which has three B-Pool silver medals to its name, will be the top seed in the tournament, and Vancouver 2010 Paralympic silver medallists Japan will be the second seed.
They will be followed by No. 3 China, which finished runner-up at the last World Championships B-Pool, and No. 4 Germany, the 2013 B-Pool winners. No. 5 Poland and No. 6 Finland will round out the participants.
The tournament will begin with a Poland-China matchup on 17 September. Sylwester Flis, previously a member of the USA’s gold-medal winning Paralympic squad at the Salt Lake City 2002 Paralympic Games, will lead Poland as they take on China, the next Paralympic Winter Games host nation.
Day one will also see Germany take on Japan and Sweden face neighbours Finland.
"The first game against Japan is immediately a final. With them and Sweden we will probably fight for places behind China,” said German head coach Andreas Pokorny.
The tournament will conclude with Sweden vs. Japan on 22 September, a matchup of the top two seeds who will both look to get themselves back to the A-Pool after being relegated in 2019.
With a population of about 60,000, Ostersund is known to be a winter sports hub, having also hosted the biathlon World Championships and the World Cup together with other major international winter events, including cross-country skiing World Cups and World Junior Curling Championships.
More information about the teams, complete schedule, and results can be found on the Ostersund 2021 microsite.