International Ice Hockey Federation

Two weeks of hockey action

Two weeks of hockey action

Top talents from 12 countries will compete in Bled

Published 31.03.2017 12:08 GMT+4 | Author Rok Srakar
Two weeks of hockey action
Photo: Jost Gantar
The "Pearl of Gorenjska region", as the town of Bled is quite often described, has a long tradition in Slovenian ice hockey.

Many renowned players, former and current, come from the Bled area or have at one point of their careers played here.

Before the current ice rink was built in 1974 the people of Bled and tourists used the current location of Bled Sports Hall as a natural ice skating rink. There were many improvements made in four decades, with the complete renovation in 2002 which included the construction of municipal and energy infrastructure, fitness centre, offices and cafe, as well as arrangement of hall surroundings and Olympic Square.

In the recent years Bled Sports Hall has not only become home base of the Slovenian men's and women's national teams, but also a host of IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships. The advantage of the ice rink's location just a few steps away from most of the hotels in Bled it is very popular for the competing teams as it saves quite a lot of time on transport and other logistics. It provides them with maximum focus on practice and competition. Placed near the lake in one of the most scenic surroundings Bled also offers competitors the opportunity to relax during the breaks in their tight schedules.

This year Bled will host both Division I groups of men's U18 World Championship program.

Firstly, in the Group A the best young ice hockey players of Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Norway will in the period from 7th to 13th April battle for the top spot that will lead them to the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Russia.

Belarus, which made it last year by winning in front of the home fans in Minsk, will this year be replaced in the group by Denmark that was edged by Latvia in a shootout in the third game of the relegation series. The Danes will definitely arrive to Bled set to fight their way back into the elite nations.

Another newcomer this year is Hungary, which least year convincingly won the Division I Group B gold, while Austria was relegated from the Group A. Hungary made quite some progress in last couple of years, especially in the young categories, what makes their goal for the Championship very clear – prove they have earned this spot in this group.


Back to Overview