JACA, Spain – The city of Jaca in the Spanish Pyrenees will host two IIHF events this season with the first one starting on Saturday.
The Pabellon de Hielo will host the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group B where Spain will be joined by Korea, Serbia, Australia, Iceland and China, 11-17 January.
From 5 to 11 April the men’s teams will come to Jaca when Spain hosts the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group B that also includes New Zealand, Mexico, China, Turkey and South Africa.
Spain is the top-seeded team in both events and hopes to celebrate promotion on home ice.
The event was presented recently in Zaragoza, the capital of the Aragon region Jaca is part of.
“The fact that the city of Jaca will host two World Championships is the culmination of good work the city has done for many years. There will also be many players from Aragon and Jaca on the national teams, which we can be proud of,” said Felix Brocate, General Director of Sports of Aragon’s Government. “I want to encourage the Aragonese people to attend these tournaments and watch this spectacular sport.”
“Jaca is the Spanish ice capital of Spain,” said Maria Teresa Samaranch, President of the Spanish Ice Sport Federation (FEDH), acknowledging the success the city has had in Spanish ice hockey and encouraging the city of Zaragoza to build a rink to further develop the sport in Spain.
“The organization of these championships help us promote and develop ice sports in our country while at the same time running initiatives like the Learn to Play Program,” said Frank Gonzalez, IIHF Council Member and FEDH Vice President.
“We have two great teams that intend to battle for the gold medals in their respective category against teams from all continents but we know that our rivals also take these competitions very seriously.”
On Sunday another U20 championship will start when Izmir, Turkey, will host the Division III event that also includes Belgium, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Mexico and South Africa.