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So Just What Is The World Championship!?

You may have heard that the Ice-Hockey World Championship is coming to Belfast, Northern Ireland on Sunday 23rd April – Saturday 29th April! No!? Then where have you been!!?

Hockey is back with 15 international games across 7 days at The SSE Arena, Belfast! Click here for ticket info.

The International Ice-Hockey Federation (IIHF) unanimously decided to award the prestigious 2017 tournament to our wee country at last year’s congress in Russia. The Giants teamed up with Ice-Hockey UK, Belfast City Council, the Odyssey Trust and The SSE Arena in order to submit a bid worthy of hosting this event for the first time ever and we are now only days away from the start!

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Who?

Over the coming days, Team GB (ranked 24th in the world), Japan (21st), Croatia (26th), Estonia (28th), Lithuania (25th) and the Netherlands (27th) will all make their way to Belfast ahead of Sunday’s opening day of the 2017 mens World Championship.

Team GB, the host nation, have a familiar look for ice-hockey fans in Belfast with the vast majority playing in the Elite League. Current Giants Colin Shields, Stephen Murphy and Mark Garside are all in the team as well as former Giants Craig Peacock, Robert Dowd, David Phillips also in the lineup. Click here for the full team.

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What?

The 6 nations are all competing for an illustrious World Championship medal with Gold, Silver and Bronze on offer. Each team plays each opponent once. Winning Gold will earn promotion for that nation to Division 1A in 2018 and the nation that finishes in 6th place will be relegated to Division 2A in 2018.

In both 2015 and 2016 Team GB have picked up the Silver medal, coming agonisingly close to winning Gold and earning promotion. In 2017 – the goal for Team GB will be to go one step further and win Gold.

The points are slightly different to a normal Giants/Elite League game with 3 points for the winning team at the conclusion of regulation time, 1 point for both teams at the conclusion of regulation time if the game is tied and an additional point earned for the team winning the game in a 5-minute overtime period, or a Penalty-Shot Shootout if the teams are still tied following conclusion of the overtime period.

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When?

The tournament runs from Sunday 23rd April until Saturday 29th April. Aside from ‘rest days’ on Tuesday 25th and Thursday 27th, there are 3 games on each day facing off at 12:30pm, 4pm and 7:30pm. That’s 15 games in total across 7 days!

The action begins on Sunday 23rd April, the opening day of the tournament, with Netherlands vs Japan at 12:30pm, Croatia vs Team GB at 4pm and Estonia vs Lithuania at 7:30pm.

After opening day, Team GB will face-off at 7:30pm every game day – making it as easy as possible for as many fans as possible to watch the host nation in action! Click here for the full tournament schedule.

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Where?

Where else!? The SSE Arena, Belfast – home of the Giants! Our Arena will be transformed from it’s usual ‘Giants’ look into an international ice-hockey venue with both fans and flags from all competing nations as well as a brand new ice surface!

Make sure you download The SSE Arena app for exclusive discounts on food and drinks as well as all the info you need on our awesome venue!

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Why?

The 2017 IIHF ice-hockey World Championship promises to be a action packed week of fast paced, nail biting international ice-hockey and you do not want to miss out!

For those of you who have bought tickets – thank you for supporting one of the most prestigious international events ever to come to Northern Ireland. If you are visiting, then you are very welcome and we hope you have a fantastic time in Belfast!

If you haven’t got your tickets yet – then what are you waiting for!? The tournament day passes (3 games) are the same price as a normal Giants ticket – only £16! There is also a full tournament 15 game pass (£70) and final weekend 6 game pass (£30) available.

Click here to visit the Ticketmaster website and choose your seats online now. Alternatively you can purchase tickets at The SSE Arena Box Office in person or by calling 028 073 9074.

See you on Sunday!