System of tournament

Hlinka Gretzky Cup, also known as the U18 Junior World Cup as well as the Pacific Cup, will be between the 31st July - 5th August this year. The competition has been run annually since 1991, but since 2004 the tournament bears the name of Ivan Hlinka, the Czech hockey star who died in the same year. In 2018 the name of the tournament was changed to Hlinka Gretzky Cup and is hosted alternately by Czech Republic+Slovakia and Canada. Hlinka Gretzky Cup 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic situation. Hlinka Gretzky Cup 2021 took place in Břeclav and Piešťany, next year there was the tournament in Canada. In 2023 is Hlinka Gretzky Cup coming back to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In the tournament, players born in 2006 or before are eligible for selection. The maximum number of players on any roster is twenty-five, meaning teams may field twenty-three skaters and two netminders. All players must also receive an entry visa to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Statistics will be collected by the Czech Ice Hockey and the Slovak Federation (SlovakIHF). The Tournament will be international adjudicated.

Hlinka Gretzky Cup is systematically divided into two groups of four teams. The teams in each group will play each other in a round robin format. The top two placed teams in either group will compete in the medal rounds, while the teams placed third and fourth place in each group will compete in positional playoffs.

The winner of each game receives three points. The looser has no points. If the game tied, both teams get one point. A winner in overtime or penalty shots receives another point. During the Preliminary Round or Robin Round, there would be a 3 on 3 sudden death overtime for 5 minutes with a 5 player Penalty-Shot Shootout if the game was still tied. During play-off games (SF, Bronze Medal Game), the 10 minutes sudden death overtime period would be played 3 on 3, with 5 player Penalty-Shot Shootout if the game was still tied. During Gold Medal Game, the sudden death overtime period would be played 3 on 3 till the first "golden goal".

Tournament groups

Group A (in Breclav): Czech Republic, USA, Germany, Sweden
Group B (in Piešťany): Slovakia, Canada, Finland, Switzerland

In brief

Pre-tournament games

21.6. - The final pre-tournament games will be played on Saturday, 29th July. The Czech Republic will host Canada in Břeclav at 18:30 CET, 12:30 ET. Meanwhile, Slovakia will host the USA in Trenčín at 17:00 CET. Coverage of these games will be available at

Instagram of HGC

1.6. - The official instagram of Hlinka Gretzky Cup is availible here.

Interested in history?

6.2. - Do you know who won the Cup last year? Which team has won the most gold medals? HERE you can review the history.
History of the hockey legend

Information about Ivan Hlinka

More about the legend