The schedule for this year’s World Championship in Latvia has been confirmed and Great Britain will start the tournament with a match against second seeds Russia.
The 16-team tournament – which is split into two groups of eight – is set to run from 21st May to 6th June 2021 in Riga.
There will be no relegation as no tournaments apart from the top flight are taking place this season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Group A matches will take place at the Olympic Sports Centre and after their opening fixture against Russia on 22nd May, GB will then meet Slovakia the following day.
Denmark are GB’s opponents on 25th May followed by a match-up with Belarus the next day.
After playing Sweden on 28th May, Pete Russell’s side face the Czech Republic on 29th May.
GB’s final game of the group stage is against Switzerland on 1st June.
Group B consists of hosts Latvia, as well as Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Norway and the USA. Matches will be held in the main venue, Arena Riga.
All teams housed in one hotel and playing at two venues in near proximity will allow the possibility of a competition bubble concept if needed.
At the moment, top-level hockey games in Latvia have to be played without spectators.
Should the epidemiological situation in Latvia improve to the point that spectators would be allowed to watch games, the IIHF – together with the Local Organising Committee – would be prepared to initiate a ticketing offer within three days’ notice of government approval to host fans in the venues.
Saturday 22nd May – Great Britain v Russia – 16:15 face-off (14:15 UK time)
Sunday 23rd May – Great Britain v Slovakia – 12:15 face-off (10:15 UK time)
Tuesday 25th May – Great Britain v Denmark – 16:15 face-off (14:15 UK time)
Wednesday 26th May – Belarus v Great Britain – 20:15 face-off (18:15 UK time)
Friday 28th May – Sweden v Great Britain – 16:15 face-off (14:15 UK time)
Saturday 29th May – Czech Republic v Great Britain – 12:15 face-off (10:15 UK time)
Tuesday 1st June – Switzerland v Great Britain – 12:15 face-off (10:15 UK time)
Photo credit: Dean Woolley.