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World Deaf Ice Hockey Championship begins Saturday at Northtown Center

The World Deaf Ice Hockey Championship tournament begins Saturday, April 22 at Amherst's Northtown Center and continues through April 29.

Teams from three continents are converging on Amherst for the tournament. Participating teams are from Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Kazakhstan and the United States. Teams arrived Wednesday and began practicing Thursday.

The schedule for games and additional details are posted at:

"It's a rather large event, a pretty neat event with international play," said Eric W. Guzdek, the general manager of Northtown Center.

The championships are expected to fill over 1,300 hotel room nights and generate approximately $770,000 in economic impact.

The Northtown Center was recommended to host the tournament by Jeff Sauer, longtime hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin and for the U.S. national and U.S. paralympic sled hockey teams. Sauer died in February.

The World Deaf Ice Hockey Championship is held every other year, most recently in Siberia in 2015.

New this year is the participation of women's teams. The U.S. women's team will play two exhibition games against the Canadian women's team.

Tickets will be available at the rink or in advance via online purchase. Event tickets will be available in three types: for the entire tournament, daily ticket, or medal round single game ticket. A tournament pass is $60 for an adult, $30 for students or $20 for members of Amherst Youth Hockey.

Single day tickets are $15 for adult, $8 for students and $5 for members of Amherst Youth Hockey. A medal round single game ticket is $20.

Bronze and gold medal games will be played April 29.

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