Motorpoint Arena, courtesy of Creative Commons

Friday’s matches of Division 1A’s Ice Hockey World Championships will bring an end to the competition, but all six teams still have something at stake before the close of play today.

Relegation to Division II and promotion to hockey’s elite tier are still on the cards, with Great Britain currently leading the way on 11 points and Lithuania in last place and yet to register a single point so far.

Poland and Italy sit just behind the Brits with a slim chance of playing in the top league of the sport, with South Korea and Romania aiming to keep their place in Division One for another year.

The tournament kicked off on April 29th, with fans coming from across the globe to support their side throughout the week.

Tony and Denise Elias are ardent hockey fans, and made the journey from Cardiff to Nottingham to be a part of the competition.

“We come up to Notts every year for the play-offs, and we’ve been all around the world supporting the team.

“We were in Hungary when GB won the gold, and we’re hoping for the same today.

“We’ve even managed to speak to some Polish fans and players, and although we weren’t able to have a proper chat with them because of the language barrier we had a nice time with them.”

Great Britain continue to excel in the competition with three wins and one overtime win from their four games played.

Peter Russell’s side will pit themselves against third placed Italy in the final match of the tournament, with a win enough to promote the home nation.

Johnny Curran, a new recruit to the team, thinks  home advantage with a large expected crowd is what international hockey is all about.

“It’s big motivator,” he said. “Seeing GB do so well in the higher division brought a lot of us over to the league here. We wanted to be a part of something. Now we have that opportunity to win on home ice and then it would be awesome to go up against the big boys next year.”

Poland’s tie against Romania finished 6-2 earlier today, with a lot riding on who retains their spots in the league for the game between South Korea and Lithuania.

Great Britain’s contest against Italy gets underway at 7:45, with a big win enough to see the nation finish top of the table.

Motorpoint photo courtesy of Creative Commons, used under CC BY-SA 4.0