World Cup training camps open today

Associated Press
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Hockey season has begun a little earlier than usual this year because of the World Cup.

Eight teams (Group A: USA, Canada, Team Europe, Czech Republic; Group B: Sweden, Russia, Finland and Team North America) will compete for World Cup supremacy over the next month.

Over the last few days, we’ve heard about multiple players pulling out of the tournament because of injury, but today, the real stuff begins.

Each team’s training camp opens today and here’s where each team is currently located:

Canada: Ottawa

USA: Columbus

Czech: Prague

Team Europe: Quebec City

Finland: Helsinki

Team North America: Montreal

Russia: Saint Petersburg

Sweden: Gothenburg

The first pre-tournament game begins on Thursday, Sep. 8, as Russia hosts the Czech Republic in Saint Petersburg.

Canada and Team USA will kick-off their pre-tournament action against each other the following day on Sep. 9 in Columbus.

The round robin portion of the tournament starts on Sep. 17 with Team USA playing Team Europe followed by the Czech Republic and Canada.

Format:

The top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals (single elimination) on Sep. 24 and 25.

The top team in Group A will play the second place team in Group B and the top team in Group B will play the second place team in Group A.

The winners of the semifinal games will play each other in a best-of-three series beginning on Sep. 27. Game 2 will be Sep. 29 and if necessary, Game 3 will take place on Oct. 1.