The best para hockey players in the world are coming to Moose Jaw.
Hockey Canada and World Para Ice Hockey announced Monday morning that the 2023 World Para Hockey Championship will take place at the Moose Jaw Events Centre beginning May 28, 2023.
The event will mark the first time the Para Hockey World Championship will be contested on Canadian soil, giving the tournament a special feel that players and organizers alike are looking forward to being a part of.
“It’s a historic moment, it’s the first time in the sport’s history that Canada has hosted a World Championship and it’s hard to believe it’s been this long, but there’s no better time,” said Team Canada captain Tyler McGregor. “Especially coming off a year like last year, where we played a major tournament at the Paralympics with nobody in the stands. It’s been years since our families and friends and home fans have been able to come to cheer us on, with the exception of a few tournaments and a few games along the way, so we’re really, really looking forward to this.”
The World Para Hockey organizing body had been unable to find a host for the 2023 Worlds earlier this season and opted to approach Hockey Canada with hopes of landing a community in short order.
With the Moose Jaw Events Centre having outstanding accessibility to begin with, the City of Moose Jaw stepped up with an offer to host, and the rest is history.
“We had a bid process that targeted communities across Canada that had facilities that were wheelchair accessible and fit our logistics and operations model we had, and Moose Jaw came back as most favourable of the communities we wanted to bring the event to,” said aid Ryan Robins, director of events and properties for Hockey Canada.
“It’s going to be a fantastic legacy that will be left in the community and the province, having a Western Hockey League-calibre facility that’s capable of both hosting Para Hockey Worlds this year and other events in the future.”
Canada will be joined by Czechia, Korea and the United States in Group A, with the top two teams earning a bye to the semifinals and the bottom two seeds advancing to the quarterfinals. In Group B, China, Germany, Italy and Norway will compete for the remaining two quarterfinal spots.
The preliminary-round schedule is highlighted by the first game of the tournament between Czechia and Korea at 11 a.m. MT, Canada’s first game on May 29 at 7 p.m. MT against Korea, and a rematch of the gold medal game at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games with Canada and the United States on May 31 at 7 p.m. MT. All 20 games, including the gold medal game on June 4 at 7 p.m. MT, will be played at Moose Jaw Events Centre.
Tickets for the 2023 World Para Ice Hockey Championship will go on sale to the public on March 29 at 10 a.m. MT at HockeyCanada.ca/Tickets, starting as low as $15