In a press conference earlier this morning, USA Hockey announced that Buffalo, New York, will host two world championships in 2015: the 8th annual International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship from January 4-12, 2015, and the International Paralympic Committee Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship from April 24-May 2, 2015. Both championships will be held at the HARBORCENTER, which is scheduled to open in early October 2014. Buffalo mayor Byron Brown notes, “Buffalo is the first city in the world to be selected for two world championships in the same year.”
“We’re extremely pleased to bring these two world championships to HARBORCENTER,” says Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “The athletes and fans will be treated to a state-of-the-art facility in an area where hockey is an everyday passion. Between the HARBORCENTER and Sabres staff, the local community and our terrific New York affiliate, we have an infrastructure in place that will ensure an outstanding experience for everyone involved.”
Teams from the United States, Canada, Czech Republic, and Russia (Group A) as well as Finland, Sweden, Japan, and Switzerland (Group B) will compete for the gold medal in the IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship. Team USA has won gold in 2008, 2009, and 2011, and they have not missed playing in the gold-medal game since the championship began in 2008. The United States has hosted the event only one other time, in Woodridge, Illinois, in 2010.
The IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship will feature teams from the United States, Canada, Russia, Czech Republic, Norway, Italy, Germany, and Japan. This will be the event’s eighth year, and these eight teams will compete for the gold medal; Team USA has won gold twice, in 2009 and 2012, and has hosted the championship twice as well (2000 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and 2008 in Marlborough, Massachusetts).
“To have the opportunity to host two world championships in the span of four months is terrific not only for HARBORCENTER, but also our community,” says John Koelmel, president of HARBORCENTER. “We’re proud of the confidence USA Hockey has in us and we look forward to welcoming athletes and fans from across the world.”
“A strong relationship with USA Hockey is important to us,” says Ted Black, president of the Buffalo Sabres. “We’re excited to bring these two world class events to Buffalo and HARBORCENTER. We’ll work hard to have visitors leaving these events excited to come back.”
More specific details for these two events regarding schedules and ticket sales will be released as the championship dates draw nearer.