Poland men's national ice hockey team

The Poland national men's ice hockey team is the national ice hockey team of Poland, and a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. They are ranked 21st in the world in the IIHF World Rankings, but prior to the 1980s they were ranked as high as 6th internationally. They are one of eight countries never to have played below the Division I (former B Pool) level. As of 2024 the Polish national team plays at the top level of the World Championship.

Poland
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Orły (The Eagles)
AssociationPolish Ice Hockey Federation
General managerLeszek Laszkiewicz
Head coachRóbert Kaláber
AssistantsGrzegorz Klich
CaptainKrystian Dziubiński
Most gamesHenryk Gruth (248)
Top scorerWiesław Jobczyk (88)
Most pointsMarcin Kolusz (151)
Team colors   
IIHF codePOL
Ranking
Current IIHF22 Steady (28 May 2023)[1]
Highest IIHF19 (2003)
Lowest IIHF25 (2014)
First international
Austria  13–1  Poland
(Davos, Switzerland; 10 January 1926)
Biggest win
Poland  21–1  China
(Eindhoven, Netherlands; 26 March 1993)
Biggest defeat
Soviet Union  20–0  Poland
(Moscow, Soviet Union; 11 April 1973)
IIHF World Championships
Appearances59 (first in 1930)
Best result4th (1931, 1932)
IIHF European Championships
Appearances3 (first in 1926)
Best resultSilver (1929)
Olympics
Appearances13 (first in 1928)
International record (W–L–T)
513–549–91

Poland has competed in the Olympics thirteen times, most recently in 1992, with their best result being fourth place in 1932. They have been a regular participant of the World Championship, first appearing in 1930 and having appeared in all but one tournament since 1955. They frequently played in the top division, though were in Division I after being relegated in 2002. Poland made a return to the top division of the World Championship for 2024.

History edit

 
Poland at the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, their first appearance at the Winter Olympics. They finished ninth.

Poland was a regular participant of the early Winter Olympics, first competing at the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where they finished ninth out of eleven teams. They would appear at ever Winter Olympics until 1956, with their best finish being fourth in 1932.

Financed by state coal money from the 1950s to the 1970s the Polish hockey team was a regular at the top level upsetting the Swedes, Finns, and Czechoslovaks from time to time. They hosted the World Championship for the only time in 1976, with the matches taking place in Katowice. At this tournament Poland defeated the Soviet Union 6–4 in their opening match, the first time Poland ever won against the Soviets and what is regarded as one of the greatest upsets in international hockey history. While Poland finished seventh and was relegated for the following year, their victory against the USSR helped prevent them from winning gold for only the second time in 13 years.[2]

 
The national team in 2006.

In the Olympics earlier that year, Poland played 5 matches in the top division, but lost all of them. In the first game, the team managed four goals on the West Germany but it was not enough as they lost 7–4. Four days later, after being destroyed by the Soviet Union, the Poles took on Czechoslovakia who dominated the whole game throughout and won 7–1, but after the drug testing, the officials found that one of the Czech players tested positive for doping and they awarded Poland with a 1–0 victory, although they didn't receive any points in the standings. With only two games left and no points in the standings, Poland had no shot at a medal, but still played the last two games against the United States and Finland, and lost 7–2 and 7–1 respectively.

Poland managed to clean up a bit over four years and played well during the 1980 Olympics and finished seventh out of twelve teams. They managed to pull off a huge upset in their first game by beating Finland 5–4, who would eventually advance to the medal round. In their next game, they played Canada and hoped to complete an even bigger upset. The Canadians didn't let this happen and beat the Poles 5–1. In the third game, Poland took on the five time gold medalists, the Soviet Union. The players knew that this would be a challenge because they had played the Soviets many times before and had lost by usually very lopsided scores, such as 8–3, 9–3, 16–1, and 20–0. The Polish team, however, had also beaten the Soviets once in the 1976 World Championship and some of the players from that game were still on the team. The team tried to keep the Soviets down, but it was too much and the USSR stormed to an 8–1 win.

 
Poland at the 2017 World Championship Division IA tournament in Ukraine. They finished fourth.

With their toughest games out of the way, Poland would have one more chance to try to get to the Medal Round. They took on the Netherlands and went down early in the first period but managed to tie it about four minutes later. The Dutch team scored twice more in the period to lead 3–1. Polish hero Wieslaw Jobczyk (who scored a hat trick in the 1976 upset against USSR) scored to put Poland within one goal but the Netherlands stormed back to get two more goals before the third period to make it 5–2. The Poles ended up losing 5–3 and saw their hopes for the medal round come to an end. They had one more game against Japan, who had not won any games in the tournament and only tied once. Poland burst out in the first period and scored 3 goals before twenty minutes had ended. They scored two more goals and Japan seemed out of it. The final score was 5–1 for Poland. The team's final record was 2–3–0 and it received 4 points in the standings.

When Communist rule ended in 1989, the Polish national team began a slow decline in international play. They reached the Olympics in 1992, the most recent time they have played there, and finished eleventh out of twelve teams. During the 1990s the first two Polish-born and trained players were selected in the NHL Entry Draft: Mariusz Czerkawski was selected in the 1991 by the Boston Bruins, and Krzysztof Oliwa in 1993 by the New Jersey Devils; Oliwa won the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2000, the first and only Pole to do so.

Poland last competed at the Elite level in 2002 World Championship, where they finished fourteenth and were relegated. They then remained in Division I until they were relegated to Division IB in 2018, the lowest they had ever played at. The White Eagles finally returned to the elite level after finishing runner-up in group A in 2023. They will play in the 2024 IIHF World Championship in Group B.

Tournament record edit

Olympic Games edit

Games GP W OW T OL L GF GA Coach Captain Finish Rank
  1928 St. Moritz 2 0 0 1 0 1 4 5 ? Tadeusz Adamowski First round 9th
  1932 Lake Placid 6 0 0 0 0 6 3 34 Tadeusz Sachs ? First round 4th
  1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen 3 1 0 0 0 2 11 12 Aleksander Tupalski, Lucjan Kulej ? First round 9th
  1948 St. Moritz 8 2 0 0 0 6 29 97 Zbigniew Kasprzak ? Round-robin 6th (7th)
  1952 Oslo 8 2 0 1 0 5 21 56 Mieczysław Kasprzycki ? Round-robin 6th
  1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo 5 2 0 0 0 3 15 22 Mieczysław Palus, Wladyslaw Wiro-Kiro Józef Kurek Consolation round 8th
  1960 Squaw Valley did not participate
  1964 Innsbruck 8 6 0 0 0 2 41 15 Gary Hughes Józef Kurek Consolation round 9th
  1968 Grenoble did not participate
  1972 Sapporo 6 1 0 0 0 5 13 39 Anatoli Yegorov, Mieczysław Chmura Ludwik Czachowski Final Round 6th
  1976 Innsbruck 6 2 0 0 0 4 16 41 Józef Kurek Robert Góralczyk Final Round 6th
  1980 Lake Placid 5 2 0 0 0 3 15 23 Czeslaw Borowicz Stefan Chowaniec First round 7th
  1984 Sarajevo 6 1 0 0 0 5 20 44 Emil Nikodemowicz Henryk Gruth 7th place game 8th
  1988 Calgary 6 1 0 1 0 4 12 15 Leszek Lejczyk, Jerzy Mruk Henryk Gruth 9th place game 10th
  1992 Albertville 9 2 0 0 0 5 25 47 Leszek Lejczyk, Jerzy Mruk Henryk Gruth 11th place match 11th
  1994 Lillehammer did not qualify
  1998 Nagano
  2002 Salt Lake City
  2006 Turin
  2010 Vancouver
  2014 Sochi
  2018 Pyeongchang
  2022 Beijing
  2026 Milan–Cortina Future event

World Championship edit

  • 1930 – 5th place
  • 1931 – 4th place
  • 1933 – 7th place
  • 1935 – 10th place
  • 1937 – 8th place
  • 1938 – 7th place
  • 1939 – 6th place
  • 1947 – 6th place
  • 1955 – 7th place
  • 1957 – 6th place
  • 1958 – 8th place
  • 1959 – 11th place
  • 1961 – 13th place (5th in Pool B)
  • 1963 – 12th place (4th in Pool B)
  • 1965 – 9th place (1st in Pool B)
  • 1966 – 8th place
  • 1967 – 9th place (1st in Pool B)
  • 1969 – 8th place (2nd in Pool B)
  • 1970 – 6th place
  • 1971 – 8th place (2nd in Pool B)
  • 1972 – 7th place (1st in Pool B)
  • 1973 – 5th place
  • 1974 – 5th place
  • 1975 – 5th place
  • 1976 – 7th place
  • 1977 – 10th place (2nd in Pool B)
  • 1978 – 9th place (1st in Pool B)
  • 1979 – 8th place
  • 1981 – 10th place (2nd in Pool B)
  • 1982 – 11th place (3rd in Pool B)
  • 1983 – 10th place (2nd in Pool B)
  • 1985 – 9th place (1st in Pool B)
  • 1986 – 8th place
  • 1987 – 9th place (1st in Pool B)
  • 1989 – 8th place
  • 1990 – 14th place (6th in Pool B)
  • 1991 – 12th place (4th in Pool B)
  • 1992 – 12th place
  • 1993 – 14th place (2nd in Pool B)
  • 1994 – 15th place (3rd in Pool B)
  • 1995 – 15th place (3rd in Pool B)
  • 1996 – 17th place (5th in Pool B)
  • 1997 – 17th place (5th in Pool B)
  • 1998 – 23rd place (7th in Pool B)
  • 1999 – 23rd place (7th in Pool B)
  • 2000 – 20th place (4th in Pool B)
  • 2001 – 18th place (1st in Division I, Group A)
  • 2002 – 14th place
  • 2003 – 19th place (2nd in Division I, Group A)
  • 2004 – 21st place (3rd in Division I, Group B)
  • 2005 – 19th place (2nd in Division I, Group A)
  • 2006 – 21st place (3rd in Division I, Group B)
  • 2007 – 20th place (2nd in Division I, Group A)
  • 2008 – 22nd place (3rd in Division I, Group A)
  • 2009 – 23rd place (4th in Division I, Group B)
  • 2010 – 22nd place (3rd in Division I, Group B)
  • 2011 – 23rd place (4th in Division I, Group B)
  • 2012 – 24th place (2nd in Division I, Group B)
  • 2013 – 24th place (2nd in Division I, Group B)
  • 2014 – 23rd place (1st in Division I, Group B)
  • 2015 – 19th place (3rd in Division I, Group A)
  • 2016 – 19th place (3rd in Division I, Group A)
  • 2017 – 20th place (4th in Division I, Group A)
  • 2018 – 22nd place (6th in Division I, Group A)
  • 2019 – 24th place (2nd in Division I, Group B)
  • 2020 – Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic[3]
  • 2021 – Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic[4]
  • 2022 – 21st place (1st in Division I, Group B)
  • 2023 – 18th place (2nd in Division I, Group A)
  • 2024

European Championships edit

Games GP W T L GF GA Coach Captain Finish Rank
1910–1925 did not participate.
  1926 Davos 5 3 0 2 12 7 ? ? Consolation round 6–7 place game 6th
  1927 Wien 5 1 2 2 11 9 ? ? Round-robin 4th
  1929 Budapest 3 2 0 1 6 3 ? ? Final  
  1932 Berlin did not participate.

Former Players In NHL edit

Players who have played in the NHL and the Polish national team

Year Name Position Team
1993–2006 Mariusz Czerkawski RW Boston Bruins
Edmonton Oilers
New York Islanders
Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs
1996–2006 Krzysztof Oliwa LW New Jersey Devils
Columbus Blue Jackets
Pittsburgh Penguins
New York Rangers
Boston Bruins
Calgary Flames
2015–2016 Mike Danton C New Jersey Devils
St. Louis Blues

NHL Entry Draft edit

Polish born players selected in the NHL Entry Draft

Year Name Overall Team
1981 Peter Sidorkiewicz 91st overall Washington Capitals
1991 Mariusz Czerkawski 106th overall Boston Bruins
1993 Krzysztof Oliwa 65th overall New Jersey Devils
1993 Patryk Pysz 102nd overall Chicago Blackhawks
1998 Tomek Valtonen 56th overall Detroit Red Wings
2000 Stefan Liv 102nd overall Detroit Red Wings
2003 Marcin Kolusz 157th overall Minnesota Wild
2004 Wojtek Wolski 21st overall Colorado Avalanche
2022 Maksymilian Szuber 163rd overall Arizona Coyotes

Notable National team players edit

Other Polish-born NHL players edit

Head-to-head records edit

Updated as of 11 February 2024.[5] Defunct national teams are listed in italics.

Opponent Played Won Drawn Lost GF GA GD
  Australia 1 1 0 0 5 3 +2
  Austria 60 26 3 31 183 181 +2
  Belarus 17 4 0 13 38 77 +39
  Belgium 5 4 1 0 29 6 +23
  Bulgaria 2 2 0 0 27 2 +25
  Canada 25 0 1 24 22 175 -153
  China 6 6 0 0 79 11 +68
  Croatia 5 5 0 0 33 4 +29
  Czech Republic 1 0 1 0 2 2 0
  Czechoslovakia 44 2 2 40 58 336 -278
  Denmark 31 18 3 10 133 99 +34
  East Germany 71 35 13 23 302 234 +68
  Estonia 20 18 1 1 99 36 +63
  Finland 52 5 8 39 107 264 −157
  France 53 21 6 26 144 150 -6
  Germany 53 16 7 30 159 188 -29
  Great Britain 36 10 2 24 111 128 -17
  Hungary 65 34 6 25 199 142 +57
  Italy 57 32 4 21 187 140 +47
  Japan 42 34 2 6 214 98 +116
  Kazakhstan 21 2 1 18 42 81 +39
  Latvia 20 5 0 15 46 67 -21
  Lithuania 22 18 0 4 126 47 +79
  Netherlands 40 35 2 3 209 85 +124
  Norway 77 39 7 31 316 243 +73
  Romania 62 50 5 7 390 106 +284
  Serbia 1 1 0 0 10 2 +8
  Serbia and Montenegro 1 1 0 0 13 2 +11
  Slovakia 7 0 1 6 11 41 −30
  Slovenia 25 8 0 17 56 72 -16
  South Korea 15 10 0 5 59 32 +27
  Soviet Union 33 1 0 32 43 321 -278
  Spain 2 2 0 0 9 1 +8
  Sweden 36 5 4 27 61 227 −166
   Switzerland 46 20 6 20 159 165 -6
  Ukraine 43 18 2 23 115 132 -17
  United States 35 6 2 27 42 187 −145
  Yugoslavia 21 19 1 1 139 53 +86
Total 1 153 513 91 549 3 977 4 140 -163

References edit

  1. ^ "IIHF Men's World Ranking". IIHF. 28 May 2023. Retrieved 28 May 2023.
  2. ^ IIHF (2008). "Poland scores biggest shocker in World Championship history". IIHF.com. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  3. ^ "IIHF cancels Division I tournaments". iihf.com. 17 March 2019.
  4. ^ "IIHF – IIHF Council announces more cancellations". International Ice Hockey Federation. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  5. ^ "Poland - National Teams of Ice Hockey". nationalteamsoficehockey.com. 7 August 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2023.

External links edit