Skien set for Para ice hockey showdown

Norway host three-team tournament ahead of Worlds 12 Mar 2019
A Para ice hockey match between Italy and Norway

Italy beat Norway 3-1 at the Torino 2019 Para Ice Hockey International Tournament

ⒸSalvatore Giordano
By Para Ice Hockey

Norway, Italy and Japan continue their preparations for the Ostrava 2019 World Para Ice Hockey Championships at the NIHF Invitation Tournament that kicks off on Wednesday in Skien.

The competition runs until Saturday with teams facing each other twice. The hosts take on Japan in the opening game, followed by Japan against Italy in the evening game on day one.

Italy and Norway last met back in January at the four-team Torino International Tournament. The hosts won 3-1 with two goals from Sandro Kalegaris and one from Roberto Radice. Morten Vaernes scored for the Nordic.

For Japan this will be the second visit to Scandinavia this year. In January, the Asian team took part in the Ostersund Cup finishing third behind champions Czech Republic and hosts Sweden.

Ostrava, Czech Republic, will host the World Championships from 27 April to 4 May at the Ostravar Arena.

Norway won the World Championships back in 2004 in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, but have failed to reach the podium since 2009.

Japan’s best results in the World Championships are fourth places in 2000, 2008 and 2009.

Italy finished fourth at last year’s Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang but never reached the semi-finals at the Worlds. Fifth places in 2015 and 2017 are their best finishes.

The NIHF Invitation Tournament can be watched live online.