In the midst of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s easy to forget about the annual World Championships. This year’s international tournament is set to kick off on Friday, May 9th.
The 2014 IIHF World Championships are set to be hosted by Minsk, Belarus. The capital of Belarus has a population of 1,890,000. Games will be held in 2 venues:
1. Minsk Arena:
Opened in 2010, Minsk Arena hosted the 2010 KHL All-Star Game as its grand opening. It holds one of the largest capacities in Europe with over 15,000 seats.
2. Chizhovka Arena:
Put into operation this past November, the arena has a capacity of 9,600.
The tournament is comprised of 2 groups of 8 teams.
- Czech Republic
- United States
The top-4 ranked teams of each group advance to the quarter-finals that will be played in a cross-over format. The top team in each preliminary-round group plays the 4th-place team of the other groups, while the 2nd-place team in each group plays the 3rd-place team of the other group.
In the preliminary round, the winning team earns 3 points for a regulation win. Should the game be tied at the end of regulation, each team earns 1 point. An additional point is earned for the team that wins a 5-minute overtime period or a shootout. The preliminary round is a round-robin format.
What international sporting event is complete without a mascot? The World Championships are no exception. The mascot was selected in a Belarus contest and its name is VOLAT the bison- one of the symbols of Belarus.
Be sure to look out for our upcoming Group Previews.