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ST. PETERSBURG, May 6. /TASS/. The Russian city of St. Petersburg, which hosts matches of the 2016 IIHF World Championship, is a beautiful city and offers an excellent ice arena for the games of the global ice hockey tournament, US national team’s Head Coach John Hynes told TASS.
The matches of the 2016 IIHF World Championship are held in the Russian capital of Moscow and in the country’s second largest city of St. Petersburg between May 6 and 22. The games of the global ice hockey tournament are hosted by the VTB Ice Palace in Moscow and the Yubileiny Arena in St. Petersburg.
"St. Petersburg is beautiful," Hynes said in an interview with TASS. "You see the rich traditions and history. Hopefully we will be able to take advantage of it and be able to see the city on off-days."
Asked how the Yubileiny Arena was prepared to host the matches, Hynes said "This is an excellent arena with two practice sheets."
"It is very well kept, the ice is good and it is a beautiful stadium," the US head coach added.
Last year’s bronze medalists team USA begins this World Championship with a game against reigning champions Canada. The match at the Yubileiny Arena in St. Petersburg begins at 4:15 p.m. local time (13:15 GMT).
A total of 16 national teams, qualified to play in the 2016 IIHF World Championship, were divided into two groups. The 12,000-seat VTB Ice Palace in Moscow hosts the matches of Group A, which comprise the teams from Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Latvia, Norway, Denmark and Kazakhstan.
The 6,000-seat Yubileiny Arena hosts the matches of Group B teams, which are from Canada, Finland, the United States, Slovakia, Belarus, France, Germany and Hungary.
During the knock-out stage the stadiums in Moscow and St. Petersburg will each host two matches of the quarterfinals round, while both semifinals, the match for the third place and the final are scheduled to be held at the VTB Ice Palace in Moscow.