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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 only 8 countries never to have played below the Division I (former B Pool) level. Currently the Polish national team plays at the Division IB level, the third tier of the World Championship.

Poland
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)The Eagles
AssociationPolish Ice Hockey Federation
Head coachTomek Valtonen
AssistantsJacek Szopiński
Marek Ziętara
CaptainTomasz Malasiński
Most gamesHenryk Gruth (292)
Top scorerAndrzej Zabawa (99)
Most pointsLeszek Laszkiewicz (150)
Team colors         
IIHF codePOL
Ranking
Current IIHF22 Decrease 2 (26 May 2019)[1]
Highest IIHF19 (2003)
Lowest IIHF25 (2014)
First international
Austria  13–1  Poland
(Davos, Switzerland; 11 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
Appearances57 (first in 1930)
Best result4th (1931)
IIHF European Championships
Appearances3 (first in 1926)
Best resultMed 2.png (1929)
Olympics
Appearances13 (first in 1928)
International record (W–L–T)
476–531–92
Medal record
Pool B / Division I
Gold medal – first place 1965 Finland
Gold medal – first place 1967 Austria
Gold medal – first place 1972 Romania
Gold medal – first place 1978 Yugoslavia
Gold medal – first place 1985 Switzerland
Gold medal – first place 1987 Italy
Gold medal – first place 2001 France (Group A)
Gold medal – first place 2014 Lithuania (Group B)

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 have been in Division I since being relegated in 2002.

HistoryEdit

 
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 Polish ended up losing 5–3 and saw their hopes of 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 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. Since then they have remained in Division I, but have not earned promotion back to the top level, though they have finished just outside of promotion several times. They were relegated to Division IB in 2018, the lowest they had ever played at.

Tournament recordEdit

Olympic GamesEdit

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
1994–2018 Did not qualify

World ChampionshipEdit

European ChampionshipsEdit

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.

TeamEdit

Current RosterEdit

Roster for the 2018 IIHF World Championship Division I.

No. Pos. Name Team
2 D Kamil Górny   GKS Tychy
3 D Bartosz Ciura   GKS Tychy
5 D Jakub Wanacki   GKS Katowice
7 F Jakub Witecki   GKS Tychy
8 F Aron Chmielewski   HC Oceláři Třinec
9 D Bartłomiej Pociecha   GKS Tychy
10 F Krzysztof Zapała   Podhale Nowy Targ
11 F Maciej Urbanowicz   Cracovia Kraków
12 D Pawel Dronia   Löwen Frankfurt
13 F Bartłomiej Neupauer   Podhale Nowy Targ
16 F Tomasz Malasiński   GKS Katowice
17 D Mateusz Bryk   GKS Tychy
19 F Krystian Dziubiński   Cracovia Kraków
21 F Damian Kapica   Cracovia Kraków
22 D Damian Tomasik   Podhale Nowy Targ
23 F Alan Łyszczarczyk   Owen Sound Attack
25 F Mikołaj Łopuski   GKS Katowice
26 F Marcin Kolusz   Podhale Nowy Targ
27 F Filip Komorski   GKS Tychy
28 D Mateusz Rompkowski   Cracovia Kraków
29 G John Murray   GKS Tychy
30 G Przemyslaw Odrobny   Podhale Nowy Targ

Former Players In NHLEdit

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 DraftEdit

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

Notable National team playersEdit

Other Polish-born NHL playersEdit

Head-to-head recordsEdit

Opponent Matches Won Draw Lost Goals for Goals against
  Australia 1 1 0 0 5 3
  Austria 55 26 3 26 179 168
  Belarus 18 5 0 13 41 80
  Belgium 5 4 1 0 29 6
  Bulgaria 2 2 0 0 27 2
  Canada 29 0 1 28 27 188
  China 6 6 0 0 79 11
  Croatia 5 5 0 0 33 4
  Czechoslovakia 44 3 2 39 59 329
  Czech Republic 1 0 1 0 2 2
  Denmark 33 18 4 11 143 108
  East Germany 69 32 12 25 278 234
  Estonia 16 14 1 1 77 31
  Finland 52 5 8 39 107 263
  France 51 20 6 25 133 138
  Germany 16 4 0 12 31 49
  Great Britain 33 11 2 20 101 120
  Hungary 59 32 6 21 192 125
  Italy 52 27 4 21 164 136
  Japan 39 32 2 5 206 92
  Kazakhstan 20 1 1 18 39 80
  Latvia 17 3 0 14 32 62
  Lithuania 17 13 0 4 89 30
  Netherlands 39 34 2 3 201 85
  Norway 76 38 7 31 302 239
  Romania 56 46 5 5 362 94
  Serbia 1 1 0 0 13 2
  Slovakia 6 0 1 5 10 36
  Slovenia 22 8 0 14 51 62
  South Korea 11 7 0 4 41 28
  Soviet Union 33 1 0 32 43 321
  Spain 2 2 0 0 9 1
  Sweden 36 6 4 26 66 220
   Switzerland 47 19 7 21 157 166
  Ukraine 37 13 2 22 91 120
  United States 35 6 2 27 81 187
  West Germany 37 12 7 18 128 139
  Yugoslavia 21 19 1 1 139 53
Together 1099 476 92 531 3767 4014
  • The head to head records do not include matches against reserve, junior teams or club teams.
  • In grey, teams of countries which no longer exist

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "IIHF Men's World Ranking". IIHF. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  2. ^ IIHF (2008). "Poland scores biggest shocker in World Championship history". IIHF.com. Retrieved 6 May 2017.

External linksEdit