The schedule for the World Para Ice Hockey Championships A-Pool has been released ©IPC

The schedule for the 2017 World Para Ice Hockey Championships A-Pool, which is acting as a Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Paralympics qualifier, has been unveiled.

At the competition being held in Gangneung, only the bottom two teams will be forced to play in an additional qualifier, which will definitely feature the Czech Republic, Japan and Slovakia, with all others due to progress automatically.

World and Paralympic champions the United States, World Championships silver medallists Canada, Norway, Italy, Germany, hosts South Korea and Sweden will be taking to the ice.

The tournament will be played at the Gangneung Hockey Centre, the same venue where the Para ice hockey matches will take place at next year's Games.

Following the Opening Ceremony on April 11, there will be seven days of round-robin play.

The US will get their bid to retain their title underway on April 13 against Sweden.

The US will be hoping to defend their Paralympic title at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Getty Images
The US will be hoping to defend their Paralympic title at Pyeongchang 2018 ©Getty Images

They will then play Canada on April 17 in a replay of the gold medal game from two years ago, which the US won 3-0 on home ice in Buffalo.

Before that match, the Canadians will get their campaign underway against European Championships bronze medallists Norway on April 12.

On the same day, European Championships silver medallists Italy will take on Sweden.

Hosts South Korea meet Germany, also on April 12.

Round robin action is set to run until April 19. 

The gold and bronze medal matches, as well as the fifth place play-off, will be contested on April 20.

The full schedule can be found here.