Fate is up to the hockey players what it takes.  It was a drama

WP SportoweFakty/Agnieszka Skórowska/Pictured: Polish hockey players

Pyotr Klistek


If someone is looking for a definition of bad luck, they should carefully follow the history of Polish hockey, especially our team. However, something seems to be changing and fortune is finally starting to return what it stole in previous decades.

Correspondence from Nottingham Piotr Chłystek, WP SportoweFakty

The last time the Polish ice hockey team participated in the Olympic Games more than 30 years ago, and in the elite World Championships more than 20 years ago. A bad streak, especially in the case of the World Series, could have been broken many times, but something was always missing. Too often, centimeters, a single point, a few seconds, or rebound were the deciding factors for failure. Fortune has always smiled wider in the face of our competitors. In any case, this was the case not only in recent years, but also in the distant past, when this sports discipline was much more important in our country than it is today.

Of course, it is difficult to unequivocally define bad luck. It is a practically immeasurable category. Some may not recognize it. Therefore, please treat the following text with caution. However, let’s look at some topics about hockey players, who have been consistently unlucky.

Drama in Spodek and failure to take steroids

To begin with, it is worth recalling the famous Group A World Championships in 1976 in Spodek in Katowice. The Poles started them with the legendary 6: 4 victory over the Soviet Union. After that they played well and in the preliminary round they finished fifth among eight teams, but only the top four played for medals. Other teams struggled to survive. In the end, in the entire championship, our team took 7th place, which means maintenance. However, at that time, exceptionally two teams had to say goodbye to the elite, because it was necessary to make room for Canada, which was returning to international competition after a few years off.

And as if this were not enough, the Poles fell into tragic circumstances. In their last meeting, they faced West Germany and needed a draw to stay among the best. The score was 1: 1 for a long time, but 21 seconds before the end, Rainer Philipp shot goalkeeper Andrei Tkach into the goal, and the puck after two rebounds fell into the net …

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Older sports fans surely remember the performance of the Poles at the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary. At first, the hockey players lost to Canada only 0: 1 (they could have equalized, but Christian Sikorsky hit the crossbar), then tied 1: 1 with Sweden (the current world champion) and crushed France 6: 2. And when it seemed that they were going to follow the blow and so that they could Fighting for a medal, the news about Jaroslav Morawiecki’s doping failure fell like a bolt from the blue. Goals and points from the match against France were taken away from Piao Zeroni, and later the broken team lost all matches and missed the opportunity.

The Poles also struggled at the 1993 Group B World Championships in Eindhoven. They began the struggle to get into the elite with a match against Great Britain, a newcomer at this level. At 3-3, the opposing coach unexpectedly asked the referees to check if one of our players had an illegal stick. The referees found that the equipment was in fact inconsistent with the regulations. Therefore, the Poles had to play weakly and at that time missed the decisive goal. And although they later won all their matches, the Brits unexpectedly did the same and there was no promotion.

Even the rules got in the way

In the twenty-first century, fate has not been kind to us either. For the last time to date, the Poles took part in the Elite World Championships in 2002 in Sweden and took 14th place out of 16 teams. For many years, 14th place guaranteed relegation, but at that time there was a rule that guaranteed a place in the elite of the best team from Asia (at that time it was always Japan) regardless of the outcome. Of course, the Japanese lost to Poland and were ranked last, but it was our team that fell even lower.

The Poles had bad luck even in friendly matches. In 2004, in Spodek, they competed with the NHL Stars, which flew around Europe, when games abroad were suspended due to the lockdown. To everyone’s surprise, they were leading 3: 2, but four seconds before the final siren Tomasz Jaworski, who was defending perfectly, stunned Sergey Fedorov and in the end there was “only” a draw.

On the other hand, if we want to accurately describe the unfortunate events our employees have been involved in in recent years, we may have to prepare a separate text. At the IA World Championships held in Krakow in 2015 and Katowice in 2016, the Poles ranked third. For taking second place, he is rewarded with promotion to the elite, in the first case one goal was already missed, in the second point.

An absolute sensation on a global scale was the final table of the IB Division World Championships in Tallinn four years ago. Out of five matches, the Poles won four, and in the fifth they scored a point, because they lost after overtime. In total, they scored 13 points, which almost always means a promotion. But here it was different, because the Romanians scored the same number of points, who turned out to be better than hockey players in direct confrontation. Needless to say, they won in very fortunate circumstances (3: 2 after extra time). To this day, Polish fans can’t understand how the goalkeeper, Przemyslaw Odrubny, shot defender Arkadiusz Kostyk passing in front of him, bringing the puck into our goal …

It started in Kazakhstan

But fate suddenly changed. After more than a dozen years, the Poles have not scored even a single important goal in an important match in happy conditions, and an away battle with Kazakhstan came in the preliminary qualification for the Olympics in February 2020. Already at the start, Bartosz Ciura shot from distance and although the puck The ball did not fly into the goal, however, it still fell into the net after an unusual rebound. Our hockey players desperately defended most of the match, but won 3: 2 and reached the decisive stage of the playoffs, where they defeated the stronger Belarus 1: 0 in Bratislava in 2021. The only goal was scored by Philip Komorsky, after the ball slipped between the goalkeeper’s fences and flew over The goal line is right next to the post. Even the huge number of shots did not help the opponents.

Also in 2022, the Poles have had some luck. In the decisive match of the IB World Championship in Teichi against Japan, two minutes before the end the score was only 1: 0. It was getting tense, but then the Asians, wanting to distribute the move from their own defensive zone, hit the referee’s sled with the puck, the gum fell on Alan Cesarczek’s stick, and the situation was not lost alone with the goalkeeper.

And this year’s competition in Nottingham is also going our way. In battles with Lithuania and South Korea, the opponents, unfortunately, put the ball into their gates after Christian Dzyubinsky, who was credited with these goals, because officially there are no special goals in hockey. Also, after Dziubiński’s goal, he scored the winning goal 3: 2 in the match with Italy, which could never complain about the lack of luck. Our captain hit the goalkeeper, but then the ball ricocheted off Bartomeg Jezorski, then bounced off the post, then “danced” on the goal line and eventually went over it. We could complain only after the match against the hosts, because the decisive goal of the English national team (at 5: 4 in extra time) was scored in preference after a controversial penalty kick by John Murray. However, we must remember that in the third period, Liam Kirk hit the post in a one-on-one situation and did not increase the local lead to 4: 2, and our goal to 4: 4 was largely a coincidence.

Finally, let’s make one thing clear so that there are no misunderstandings. The Poles in Nottingham are doing a great job! It is a joy to watch their actions and they fully deserve to be promoted to the elite. A good game is always the key to success, but sometimes you also need to be “lucky”. The championship in Great Britain is the best confirmation of this.

Read also:
Absolute superiority in the match Poles!
The Mayor of Nottingham. What admiration for the Poles!
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