The first senior World Championship held in the UK for a generation gets underway in Belfast this afternoon.

Great Britain are hosting Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania,  Netherlands and Japan at the fabulous SSE Arena, set in the Titanic Quarter on Belfast’s quayside.

Today’s opening games see Netherlands face Japan at 12.30pm before Great Britain get their tournament underway against Croatia (4pm).  Estonia play Lithuania in the final game this evening (7.30pm).

For those supporters unable to make it to SSE Arena there are still ways to keep in touch with the action on the ice.

In the UK Premier Sports are covering all GB games live – Aaron Murphy and Paul Adey will have the commentary from rinkside.

Seth Bennett will have commentary of GB games on the BBC Sport website with selected games also on Five Live Sports Extra.

Ice Hockey UK TV, in association with McDonald’s, will also have features and highlights including pre-game Facebook Live broadcasts on the Great Britain Ice Hockey Facebook page.

Games not featuring the GB team will be available to watch for free via a YouTube stream from the IIHF tournament website – head to and click on “Live Stream”.

If you’re using social media – Facebook, Twitter or Instagram then use the hashtag #2017Belfast to get involved in the discussions online.

Everyone associated with Ice Hockey UK and the Great Britain Team and the organising committee here in Belfast is excited for the action to start and hopes all hockey fans coming to Belfast have a great tournament experience.

Let’s go GB, let’s go!

Photo credit: Dean Woolley