Team GB will face Canada, USA, Finland, Germany, hosts Slovakia, Denmark and France at the 2019 IIHF World Championships, it has been confirmed.
Pete Russell’s side have been placed in Group A for the tournament – which will see Great Britain compete at the top level of world ice hockey for the first time since 1994 – following their gold medal winning performance at the Division 1A tournament in Budapest last month.
“Seeing the teams we will be playing next year really makes the magnitude of what we achieved in Budapest hit home.” GB Head Coach Russell said.
“To play in Pool A is the ultimate and we are going to get to do that next season.
“It’s a fantastic group that awaits us in Slovakia. It’s going to be an amazing experience and we will be facing some of the best players on the planet.
“It is something that every one of us will embrace and this group of players has earned that right with the fantastic achievement in getting promotion last month.”
In Group B, reigning world champions Sweden will face Russia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway, Latvia, Austria and Italy.
The 16-team tournament begins on May 10th 2019, with the Final scheduled to take place on May 26th 2019. Teams will play each other once in the group stage, with the top four teams from each group advancing to the quarter-final stage. The bottom team in each group will be relegated to Division 1A.
“The hard work will start straight away and we have a lot of planning to do over the next 12 months.” Russell added.
“It is going to be an amazing year for British ice hockey and we will be going to Slovakia with the aim of continuing to surprise people again.
“We went to Budapest with two goals – one was to stay in the division and the other was to Dare to Dream. We now go to Slovakia with the exact same mindset and to enjoy this fantastic opportunity that has been created by our stunning promotion.”