Sweden will begin the defence of their title when the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship gets underway in Slovakia tomorrow.
The Swedes have been drawn into Group B along with Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Russia and Switzerland, who they beat 3-2 in last year’s final to retain their crown from 2017 and triumph for the 11th time.
Sweden will start their campaign against Czech Republic.
Tomorrow’s other Group B match will see Olympic gold medallists Russia face Norway.
Group A comprises made up of Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, hosts Slovakia and last year’s bronze medallists the United States.
Canada, back-to-back champions in 2015 and 2016, open their quest for glory against Finland tomorrow.
It will be followed by the US’s clash with Slovakia.
All Group A matches will be played at Košice's Steel Arena, while those in Group B will take place at Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava.
Each team plays every other side in their section once.
The top four teams from each group will qualify for the quarter-finals.
The bottom teams in each section will be relegated to IIHF World Championship Division I A.
The tournament is due to conclude on May 26, when the gold and bronze medal games will be held.