DALTON AND KIRKHAM OFF TO USA

UK official Andy Dalton and Ice Hockey UK referee-in-chief Simon Kirkham are off to the Under-18 World Championship in Grand Forks.

The top-level junior tournament contains the best sides in the world, including hosts USA and also Canada, Sweden Finland and Czech Republic.

The tournament runs from 14th to 24th April.

Kirkham will be an IIHF supervisor for the tournament while Dalton will be one of the tournament’s linesmen.

Dalton said: “It’s always an honour to represent the UK as an official.

“Having represented my country at various tournaments over the years, it is exciting to be selected for such a high-profile event.

“Having had the chance over the last few seasons to participate in exchange programmes – and this season working in Denmark – has helped me develop to a higher level.”

Kirkham said: “I am really looking forward to this tournament.

“It is a massive honour to work at this level and be involved in such a prestigious tournament.

“It will be great working with Andy. He is a well respected linesmen and it should be a great 10 days.”

IHUK general secretary, Andy French, said: “Good luck to the Simon and Andy in the coming few days.

“They are both well respected around the world and this is shown by the high level of tournament they are working at.”