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250px-Location Poland EU Europe

Flag of Poland

Poland is a country of about 38,000,000 people in Europe. Its capital is Warsaw.























IIHF Since

January 11 1926





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.

Financed by state coal money from the 1950s to the 1970 the Polish hockey team was a regular contender for medals in international tournaments, vastly superior to the Finns and upsetting the Swedes and Czechs from time to time. In 1976 Poland beat the dominant Soviet Union 6-4 in the World Championships after being soundly defeated by the same team 16-1 in the Winter Olympics. It was only the second time in 13 years that the Soviet Union had not won the gold.

Poland also played well in 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 Russians down, but it was too much and the USSR stormed to an 8-1 win. With their toughest games out of the way, Poland would have one more chance to try and get to the Medal Round. They took on Holland 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 Holland 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.

By the early 1980s, though, the Polish economy went into the tail spin and the money for the hockey programs vanished. Despite this Poland has managed to produce some NHL caliber talent including Mariusz Czerkawski with the New York Islanders, Peter Sidorkiewicz for both the Hartford Whalers and the Ottawa Senators, and Krzysztof Oliwa for the New Jersey Devils where he won a Stanley Cup in 1999-2000.

Hockey was first played in Poland in 1922. Three years later, four clubs in Warsaw established the Polish Ice Hockey Federation. The following year (1926), Poland became a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

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