USA Hockey announced Friday it has selected the Buffalo Sabres, along with First Niagara Center, HarborCenter and Ralph Wilson Stadium, as the host for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Buffalo last hosted the World Junior event in 2011.
For the first time ever, the event will include an outdoor game as part of the preliminary round with the likely matchup between the U.S. and Canada.
“It was an extremely difficult decision as all three finalists in contention to host the event were exceptional,” said USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean in a statement. “We’re excited to be returning to Buffalo and are most thankful for the extraordinary support of the Pegulas, and everyone involved with the Sabres and Bills organizations and Pegula Sports and Entertainment. We look forward to an outstanding event.”
“Needless to say, we’re thrilled to be selected,” added Terry Pegula, owner of the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills. “USA Hockey had three terrific finalists and we are truly honored to be hosting this magnificent event. I know our community and region will be great hosts for teams and fans from around the world for what we expect to be the best World Junior Championship ever held in the U.S.”
The United States has earned eight medals in the event’s history, claiming gold in 2004, 2010 and 2013, silver in 1997 and bronze in 1986, 1992, 2007 and 2011.