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Home team sees no victories as Ukraine hosts ice hockey championship

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Ukraine's defenseman Igor Kugut (L) tries to get the puck from Team Austria's forward Manuel Ganahl in Kyiv on April 25.
Photo by Volodymyr Petrov

Ukraine’s national hockey team has suffered four losses since the start of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Division 1A that takes place on April 22-28 in Kyiv. Team Ukraine won’t be able to improve from the sixth place – the last one among the participating countries Hungary, Kazakhstan, Austria, Poland and South Korea – and will have to go back to the Division I Group B.

This is certainly not what the team was hoping for, but it mirrors the current state of the hockey sports in Ukraine. There are only three rinks in the capital, including one at central Palace of Sports which hosted the tournament, that are suitable for professional players. For comparison, Belarus capital Minsk has seven rinks.

On the bright side, Kyiv’s Palace of Sports finally got ice hockey back at the site where many IIHF events took place in the past and where now-defunct Sokil Kyiv team was once playing for medals in the Soviet championship.

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