Locals line up for ice hockey world championship

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World championship ice hockey is returning to Dumfries Ice Bowl in March, with talented locals lined up to play a pivotal role for the Great Britain Under-18s team.

The Ice Bowl will play host to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Men’s Under-18s World Championship (Division II – Group A) from March 24-30, which features Great Britain, Croatia, Korea, Lithuania, Netherlands and Romania.

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s ice hockey development officer Martin Grubb has been confirmed as the head coach for the national team, and the final squad features Josh Grieveson, the highly talented 16-year-old who learned to play hockey at Dumfries Ice Bowl before leaving the town aged just 13, to take up an ice hockey scholarship at Northwood School, in New York State.

The most recent International Ice Hockey Federation championship to take place in Dumfries, the Under-20s Category 1B tournament in December 2013, was hailed as a superb success by organisers.

High quality play, large crowds and the presence of celebrity fans in the stands contributed to the feelgood factor, a vibe which went through the roof when ice hockey’s holy grail, the Stanley Cup, landed in Scotland for the first time.

The December World Championship also created a £100,000 plus economic boost for Dumfries and Galloway. The March event will create a similar windfall for local accommodation providers, as many hundreds of “bed nights” are required for the participating teams.

Ticket prices will be announced soon, with tickets due to go on sale from mid-February.