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Belfast secures World Championship hosting rights

Belfast's SSE Arena will host the 2017 World Championship (Division 1B).

A bid from Ice Hockey UK, in conjunction with the SSE Arena, the city of Belfast and the Belfast Giants, proved successful at Friday morning's IIHF Congress in Russia.

They overcame the challenge of Estonia 18-7 in a vote by the IIHF council members and the six teams in the division.

Croatia, Lithuania, Japan and Holland will also compete in the group, with the event provisionally scheduled for April 23-29.

IHUK chairman Richard Grieveson said: "This is a massive moment for ice hockey in the UK.

"It has been a long time since the UK hosted a men's World Championship and it is very exciting we will be doing so again."

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