Romania’s national team has been promoted into the world’s 2nd ice hockey tier.
Romania’s national team has been promoted into the world’s 2nd ice hockey tier, after having won all the matches in Group B, Division I of the World Championship hosted last week by the Estonian capital city, Tallin.
Romania beat Estonia 4-3, after overtime and shootouts, defeated Japan and Poland, 3-2 in each match, Ukraine 5-1 and the Netherlands 3-1. Romania’s performance is all the more surprising given that in Tallin they played against opponents that had been constantly superior over the past few years. Japan overtook Romania in the world rankings as early as in 1982, the latest 3 matches against Poland between 2012 and 2014 had been lost by Romania at an overall 1-23, and 6 World Championship matches against Ukraine were as many defeats and a combined score of 4-39.
“A new national team is born,” the President of the Romanian Ice Hockey Federation, Alexandru Halauca, said according to Agerpress, and added, “It is a remarkable achievement, we are speechless. The boys gave it all out there, and they deserve all the praise for their results at this year’s World Championship. Our main strength was our coach, who chose the best positions for each player and the best tactic so as to win the top place at the end of the competition.”
One of the priorities of the leaders of the Romanian Ice Hockey Federation is to extend the contract of the national team’s coach, the Slovak Julius Penzes, who took part in all the stages of the team’s preparations for the World Championship although he has been working in Kazakhstan this season. Assistant coach Marius Trandafir has also been involved in the training of the national team. Apart from 4 naturalised players (Patrik Polc, Pavlo Borisenko, Evgheniy Emelianenko and Anton Butochinov), Romania’s team includes both experienced players and quite a lot of young, 21-23 year old athletes who have contributed to this year’s outstanding performance.
The President of the Romanian Ice Hockey Federation, Alexandru Halauca, also announced that Romania has submitted its candidacy with the International Hockey Federation for hosting the 2nd tier matches of the 2020 World Championship, in which the Romanian national team has just been promoted. But the right to host this competition depends to a great extent on the building of the new ice hockey rink within the Lia Manoliu Sports Compound in Bucharest.