The Polska Hokej Liga started the new season with huge upsets and surprises in the first rounds, it is really becoming a very interesting league to follow. Here is a quick summary of what we’ve seen so far and what we ... Read more»
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- Beijing here we come! (29 Aug 2021)
- Lebler’s hattrick gives Austria first win in Bratislava (29 Aug 2021)
- Almost there (27 Aug 2021)
- Belarus is still alive (27 Aug 2021)
- Slovakia earns first points (26 Aug 2021)
Harijs Vītoliņš named Latvia coach
Harijs Vītoliņš, 53, is the new coach of Latvia National Team. The former Spartak Moscow coach will be assisted by Artis Ābols. Vītoliņš replaced Avangard Omsk coach Bob Hartley and will try to qualify Latvia for the Winter Olympics at the end of August in Riga(26 Jul 2021)
Greg Ireland is the new coach of team Italy
Following the resignation of Clayton Beddoes at the beginning of March, Italian Federation announced Greg Ireland as new coach of national team. Ireland, 54, from Orangeville, Ontario, currently the coach of HC Bolzano, start his work with the National team as soon as the emergency of the COVID 19 virus will pass. After the announcement of the IIHF of the cancellation of the World Top Division, the next commitment for team Italy is the Olympic qualifying tournament at the end of August in Riga, Latvia.(22 Mar 2020)
Romania advances to the next round
As everyone expected, the host country Romania, dominated the group K - Round 2 of Olympic prequalification (December 12-15, 2019). In the last two years, the romanians have considerably improved their level. They are newly promoted to Division I, Group A.
The only unknowns were just the difference in score against their opponents (Kyrgyzstan, Iceland, Israel). Therefore, with maximum possible points, Romania advances to the third qualifying stage, Nottingham - United Kingdom, February 6-9, 2020, where they will meet Hungary, Estonia and the host country, Great Britain.
Matjaz Kopitar is back on Slovenia bench
Matjaz Kopitar, 53, father of Los Angeles Kings captain Anze, is back again on Slovenia national team bench in his third experience as head coach after the 2010-2015 period, when he led Slovenia at Sochi Olympics and in three World Championships, always ended with the relegation of the team. Kopitar was back in 2017-2018 before to work full-time as scout for Los Angeles Kings.
He should sign a contract for four years, beginning the new adventure with two challenge, both on home ice: next February in Jesenice hunting for the Olympic pass battling with Japan, Lithuania and qualifier from a previous round and in late April in Ljubljana at World Championship Division Ia when Slovenia will compete with France, Austria, Korea, Hungary and Romania in a complicate race for the promotion to Elite Division, after a disappointing campaign in Nur Sultan last spring
IIHF reports that the groups for PyeongChang 2018 men's ice hockey are known:
Group A: Canada (1), Czech Republic (6), Switzerland (7), Korea (12)
Group B: Russia (2), USA (5), Slovakia (8), Slovenia (11)
Group C: Sweden (3), Finland (4), Norway (9), Germany (10)
Andrei Nazarov remains coach of Kazakhstan
Despite the relegation at last World Championship, Russian Andrei Nazarov was confirmed as head coach of Kazakhstan national team. Nazarov will lead Kazakhstan at the Olympic qualification in September against Norway, Italy and France. Nazarov was confirmed also as Barys Astana coach.
Federation also announced the coaches for junior and women teams:
Sergei Starygin - U20
Viktor Buyalsky - U18
Alexander Maltsev - Women
Bulgaria advances in Olympic Qualifications
Bulgaria take the first step towards PyeongChang 2018 winning 9-1 at Winter Palace in Sofia, in front of 581 spectators, the Qualification game against Georgia. Captain Martin Boyadjiev was the star of the game, scoring 2 goals and serving 6 assists. His teammates at CSKA Sofia Yanaki Gachev (3+3) and Petar Mihov (2+3), along with Kristian Semkov and Bogdan Stefanov also contributed to demolish the weak Georgian team. Fiery Crusaders Tbilisi forward Vitali Dumbaze scored the only goal for Georgia.
Bulgarian coach Kirill Hudulov granted one minute on ice at 51-years-old legendary goalie Konstantin Mikhailov
Now Bulgaria will play next round of Olympic qualification at Tallinn, Estonia from 5 to 8 November against Estonia, Mexico and Israel(11 Oct 2015)
Sapporo will host Olympic Pre-Qualification Group J
The Tsukisamu Gymnasium in Sapporo will be the venue for Group J of the Olympic Pre-Qualification for the 2018 Olympic men's ice hockey tournament, scheduled for 11 to 14 February 2016. Japan, Ukraine, Croatia and Romania will battle for a spot in the Final Olympic Qualification held 1-4 September 2016 in three groups.
Built for 1972 Olympics, Tsukisamu has a 5831 capacity and normally hosts Asia League games. Hosted the IHWC Division Ib in 2008 and last March the World Women's Curling Championship
Changes in Austria and Great Britain rosters
Austria makes a cut in the roster for Olympic Qualification after the game against Kazakhstan: forwards Philipp Pinter, Daniel Woger and Michael Schiechl (all Vienna Capitals) and defenseman Johannes Reichel (Kac Klagenfurt) have been cut from the roster.
Also Great Britain has to make changes in the roster, all due to injuries: Basingstoke Bison netminder Stevie Lyle will replace Stephen Murphy while Nottingham Panthers defenceman Steve Lee will replace team-mate Jonathan Weaver(05 Feb 2013)
Ukraine lost key players for Olympic Qualifications
Despite a brilliant campaign in previous round, Ukraine will travel to Vojens, Denmark without almost all its best players: besides Ruslan Fedotenko and Alexei Ponikarovsky, back in NHL, also Dynamo Moscow Konstantin Kasyanchuk - personal reasons - Companion Kyiv defender Ruslan Borisenko - fractured rib - and Donbas Donets'k forward Sergei Varlamov - reason still unknown - won't travel to Denmark