The teams for the 2021 World Para Ice Hockey Championships A-Pool are decided, with Russia and Slovakia securing the last two spots up for grabs following their performances at the B-Pool in Berlin, Germany, last week.
The 2019 Worlds B-Pool wrapped up on 22 November, with Russia going five games undefeated. The nation conceded only one goal throughout the entire tournament and it was during their win against China (3-1).
This will mark Russia’s return to the A-Pool for the first time since the 2015 World Championships in Buffalo, USA, where they finished with a bronze.
“We missed a lot (of competitions in the last few years),” said Russia’s key player Dmitry Lisov. “Para hockey does not stand still and again we need to catch up. We still have a year and a half ahead for this.
“First of all, I want to adequately perform at a tournament in Canada and test our strength against the strongest teams of the world. It will help us to understand what we have missed during this time and what we need to work on.
“After all, soon we have to defend the title of European Champions (from 2016).”
Slovakia will also be making history with their first Worlds A-Pool appearance.
The side went 4-1 in the round-robin tournament, including a 2-1 upset win over China and overtime victory against hosts Germany.
Slovakian Eduard Lepacek was named Best Goalkeeper while Russia’s Ivan Kuznetsov was adjudged Best Defenceman and China’s Yi Feng Shen walked away with the Best Forward award.
Great Britain moved down to the World Championships C-Pool.