The IIHF has updated the schedule for the Under-18 World Championships in Germany ©IIHF

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has updated the competition schedule for this month’s men’s Under-18 World Championship in Germany.

An updated schedule was required following the suspension of Belarus and Russia from IIHF events, as a consequence of the countries invasion of Ukraine.

The tournament had initially been scheduled to feature 10 teams.

Canada, Finland, Latvia, Switzerland and the United States had been due to feature in Group A, while Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden and Russia were scheduled to compete in Group B.

The removal of Belarus and Russia has led to the competition being reduced to eight teams, with the IIHF amending the group line-up.

Top seeds Canada will feature in Group A alongside the US, Czech Republic and Germany.

Sweden, the tournament second seeds, will face Finland, Switzerland and Latvia in Group B.

Finland and Switzerland are scheduled to open the tournament on April 23 with their match taking place at the Erdgas Schwaben Arena in Kaufbeuren.

Latvia and Sweden are set to follow at the same venue.

The Czech Republic are then due to face hosts Germany in the Group A opening match at the Fanatec Arena in Landshut, with the US and Canada set to round off the opening day.

The remaining group matches are scheduled for April 24 and 26.

All eight teams are then due to compete in the quarter-finals on April 28, where they will be reseeded according to their tournament ranking.

The last four matches are set to follow two days later at the Fanatec Arena.

The venue is due to then host the gold and bronze medal matches on May 1.

The IIHF has confirmed no team will be relegated from the top division, due to the two open spots being left by Belarus and Russia.

The two spots can be filled for 2023 by the two promoted teams from the Division I event.

Canada are the defending under-18 world champions, after beating Russia 5-3 in last year’s final in the US.

Canada have won the tournament on four occasions.

The US are the record 10-time champions.