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By George Thorpe – Inside The Games

Teams will be looking to qualify for next year’s International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships when the Division I competition starts in Kiev tomorrow.

The top two teams from Group A in the round robin contest taking place in the Ukrainian capital will progress to the 2018 edition of the top tournament in the sport, which will be hosted in Denmark.

All the matches will be played at the Palace of Sports with the competition set to go on until April 28.

Action will start with the hosts taking on Hungary before South Korea face Poland.

The opening day’s matches will be completed with Austria taking on Kazakhstan.

Slovenia and Italy were the teams who earned spots at the World Championships after topping the group in Poland.

Alongside this contest, the Division’s Group B will also be taking place at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with the top side earning promotion to Group A.

The opening game will take place on Sunday (April 23) with The Netherlands meeting Japan.

Hosts Great Britain will be next on the ice as they take on Croatia before Estonia face Lithuania in the day’s final game.

Matches will continue in the group until April 29.

The lowest ranked team from Group A will be relegated to B, while the last placed country from the latter will head to Division Two A.

Next year’s line up in Division One will be completed by the two sides who finish last in the groups in the main World Championships, which are due to take place in Germany and France from May 5 to 21.