The dates of the XII Gazprom Neft Cup International KHL Kids Hockey Tournament have been announced. Europe’s largest ice-hockey tournament for under 11s will run from 20 to 25 April. In 2018, 26 teams from six countries will compete. Jungadler Mannheim from Germany will join the Cup’s West Group for the first time. The German team was recommended for the tournament by the German and Russian ice-hockey federations and approved by the Kontinental Hockey League. The East Group will also feature a new team — Admiral from Vladivostok in Primorsky Krai. See the full list of teams for the 2018 Cup on the official Gazprom Neft Cup website.
East Group teams will, as usual, take to the ice of Arena Omsk and the Avangard Children’s Hockey Centre, while the West Group games will be played at the Bolshoy Ice Dome and the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi. The tournament Super Final, featuring the group winners, will take place at Arena Omsk on 25 April.
As in past years, there will also be a full programme of events beyond ice-hockey for participants, families, and fans to enjoy. The young players will be offered guided tours of famous sights in both cities. The Gazprom Neft Cup will feature seminars on sports psychology for parents, where experts will talk about how to bring up future champions and create a good family atmosphere. Coaches will also be able to attend seminars and learn some secrets of the trade from renowned ice-hockey experts and seasoned Russian coaches. See the full tournament events programme on the official Cup website.
New activities and entertainment will be organised for ice-hockey fans who have come to support their favourite kids’ teams at the Gazprom Neft Cup arenas. There will be performances by popular Russian musical groups and a stunning multimedia show will precede the vibrant opening ceremony. As usual, entry to the games will be free of charge. Information on procedures, rules and ticket collection points will be announced at a later date.