Latvia opens Worlds vs. Canada
by Martin Merk|05 FEB 2021
At the most recent encounter, Canada beat Latvia 2-1 in overtime at the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Pictured are Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Teodors Blugers at a face-off.
photo: Matt Zambonin / HHOF-IIHF Images
The International Ice Hockey Federation has released the game schedule of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Riga on Friday.

On Friday, 21 May 2021 host Latvia will start the tournament against top-seeded Canada at 20:15 local time at Arena Riga. Earlier that day Germany will play Italy in the same group.

In Group A play it will be a clash between Russians and Czechs to open the tournament across the street at the Olympic Sports Centre. Belarus and Slovakia will play the evening game.

Day 1 of the 2021 Worlds will see eight of the 16 teams involved. The other teams in Group A are Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and Great Britain, who will get involved the day after on Saturday, 22 May. Group B at Arena Riga also includes defending champion Finland, the United States, Norway and Kazakhstan.

The 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be played according to the usual format with 56 preliminary-round games followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and medal games.

Click here for the full game schedule.

The game schedule follows mainly the original game schedule established several months ago before the tournament has been moved to be played in two venues in the Latvian capital of Riga.

Arena Riga, which was built for the 2006 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and is home to KHL team Dinamo Riga, will be the main venue and host Group B, two quarter-final games (including Latvia’s game if qualified), the semi-finals and medal games.

The Olympic Sports Centre across the street will be converted into a 6,000-seat ice arena to host Group A and two quarter-final games.

At the moment top-level hockey games in Latvia have to be played without spectators. Should the epidemiological situation in Latvia improve to the point that spectators would be allowed to watch games, the IIHF together with the Local Organizing Committee would be prepared to initiate a ticketing offer within three-days’ notice of government approval to host fans in the venues.

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