Slovakia opens vs. USA
by Martin Merk|08 AUG 2018
USA's Brock Nelson and Slovakia's Martin Gernat battle for the puck. The two countries will meet on the opening day of the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
The International Ice Hockey Federation has approved the game schedule of the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Bratislava and Kosice.

Host Slovakia will open the tournament on 10th May 2019 against the United States. Group A with the Slovak national team will be played in Kosice as it was announced earlier (see here). Before the opening game at 20:15, Finland will play Canada at 16:15. The other teams of the group will enter the tournament on the second day that opens in Kosice with a clash between the hosts of the previous two editions, Denmark vs. France, followed by German against Great Britain, which returns to the top division for the first time since 1994, and Slovakia vs. Finland in the evening.

At the main venue, the Ondrej Nepala Arena in Bratislava, the Worlds begin on 10th May with Russia vs. Norway at 16:15 followed by the Czech Republic against Sweden at 20:15 in a game where the Slovak organizers hope for many Czech fans travelling to the neighbouring country. The second day includes Switzerland vs. Italy, Latvia vs. Austria and Norway against the Czech Republic. Austria is another participant in Bratislava in close proximity as the arena is located only six kilometres away from the border and Vienna is just a one-hour journey from Bratislava by car or train.

Click here for the full game schedule.

Each venue will host 28 preliminary-round games until 21st May and two quarter-final games on 23rd May. The quarter-finals will be played cross-over (A1-B4, A2-B3, B1-A4, B2-A3) and Slovakia will play the late quarter-final in Bratislava if the team qualifies.

The World Championship will end on the weekend of 25/26 May with the semi-finals and the medal games that will be held in Bratislava.

Slovakia will host the Worlds for only the second time as an independent country after 2011 when Bratislava and Kosice were hosts as well. Bratislava was also a co-host with Prague in 1959 and 1992 during the Czechoslovak era.

The release of the schedule brings hockey fans one step closer to the long-awaited start of the ticket sale that will start in September.

The organizers will announce the prices and ticketing structure mid-September, and the ticket sale will start a few days later. Visit the website and follow our social media channels to stay up to date.

In the meantime the visual of the new mascot will be worked on. It is known that the wolf Goooly, the official mascot from 2011, will be replaced by another national animal – a bear. Next week the vote for the mascot will start on the Facebook page of the organizing committee. The name of the mascot will be determined end of August.