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3 Jan 2020

Minsk hosting Christmas Ice Hockey Tournament

Minsk hosting Christmas Ice Hockey Tournament

MINSK, 3 January (BelTA) – The 16th edition of the Christmas International Amateur Ice Hockey Tournament for the Prize of the President of Belarus will kick off in Minsk on 3 January, BelTA has learned.

The tournament organized by the President’s Sports Club, the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation, the Sports and Tourism Ministry, and the Minsk City Hall attracts big numbers of fans. A part of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Mozyr orphanage. The children from the Mozyr orphanage will be invited to attend the games of the Christmas tournament. A ticket for an evening game played at the big rink of the Chizhovka Arena is Br5. All other games can be attended for free.

The participants of the competitions are also expected to visit four family-type orphanages in Minsk’s Frunzensky District as part of the Christmas Tradition charity campaign that was launched in 2013. These orphanages have already received Br32,000 in assistance from the President's Sports Club and the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation.

The first Christmas tournament was held at the Sports Palace and the Ice Palace of Minsk on 6-9 January 2005. Taking part in the competitions were Belarus, Austria, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic. Belarus beat Russia in the final 11-5. The Czech Republic placed third. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko received the IIHF award for the contribution to the development of ice hockey.

The Belarus president team is the 12-time winner of the Christmas international tournament (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019). Team Russia is a three-time champion (2007, 2011 and 2015).

The 16th edition of the tournament will open with Ukraine v Switzerland game. The competitions will be held at the Chizhovka Arena. The Ukraine v Switzerland game is scheduled for 13.00. The opening day will also feature games between China and the UAE, Belarus President’s Team and the IIHF Team, Germany and the Baltics team, and also an official opening ceremony of the event. The IIHF Team comprises representatives of Canada, the United States, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Kuwait. The IIHF Team and other teams include athletes that played for the NHL and KHL clubs, the best divisions of their championships and the national teams of their countries.

Competing will be 12 teams divided into four preliminary groups. Group A will feature Belarus, IIHF Team, and the United States. Group B will comprise China, the UAE, and Balkans Team; Group C – Ukraine, Switzerland, and Finland, Group D – Baltics Team, Germany and Russia. The semifinals are scheduled for 6 January, with the medal games to be played on 7 January.

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