USA Hockey has announced that Buffalo, New York, will host the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship and the International Paralympic Committee Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship in 2015.
The 8th annual Under-18 Women’s World Championship, which will be held January 4–12, will feature eight nations competing for the gold medal: United States, Canada, Czech Republic and Russia in Group A and Finland, Sweden, Japan and Switzerland in Group B.
The Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship, which will be held April 24–May 2, will also feature eight nations: United States, Canada, Russia, Czech Republic, Norway, Italy, Germany and Japan.
Both championships will be played at HarborCenter, which is expected to open in downtown Buffalo in early October. The main arena has seating for 1,800, and a second rink has seating for up to 500.
“We’re extremely pleased to bring these two world championships to HarborCenter,” said Dave Ogrean, USA Hockey executive director. “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.”
The Under-18 Women’s World Championship has been held in the United States once before in 2010 at Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge, Illinois. The United States has hosted the Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship twice previously—in Salt Lake City (2000) and in Marlborough, Massachusetts (2008).
“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,” said 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.”