Polish Women Win Big in Korea



SEOUL–Poland recently won the International Ice Hockey Federation, women’s Division II, Pool-B tournament in Seoul, Korea.  With the tournament title they will get relegated up to Division II, Pool-A play for next season.
The other National Teams of Pool-B were Belgium, Spain, Iceland, South Africa and host Korea.  
Poland won five games, sweeping the competition, at the modern Mok-Dong Arena.  With light spectator attendance Poland had plenty of scoring power.  Poland had the scoring fire-power with the one-two punch of Karolina Pozniewska and Magdalena Szynal.  Pozniewska led all scorers with 13 points (9 goals, 4 assists) to get the points title.  She got special honors after the tourney from the host Korean Ice Hockey Association.  Szynal had a hat-trick in Poland’s 7-2 win over Iceland.  



Karolina Pozniewska is about to score against Iceland in the International Ice Hockey Federation Division-II Tournament in Seoul, Korea recently.  This is only the second season of international play for the Polish women’s National Team.

Photo courtesy of KIHA  

Poland got the gold medal over tough contenders Spain and Korea.  The action on the ice was fast and Poland had a wide open style of hockey.  For the most part the crowds were light but the games with Spain and Korea drew great attention.   
The 4-3 win against eventual silver-medalist Spain had Poland getting 74 shots on net.  Poland jumped out early with goals by Pozniewska and Szynal.  The Spaniards answered strong, getting three in a row in the second period.  Alba Calero netted a pair and Maria Gurrea got the other one for Spain.  Malgorzata Burda was solid in the net for Poland.  She even stopped a penalty shot by Spain’s Ana Ucedo.  Poland roared back in the third as Izabela Malinowska and Ewelina Czarnecka scored within a 32-second span for the victory.        
Throughout the tournament Poland got great goaltending.  Burda won three games and Agata Kosinska won two.  Net minding and back-checking was the difference for the gold medalists.  Polish head coach Marek Kozyra highlighted Malinowski and Monika Suchanek for great defensive play.  He said after the tournament, “Everyone kept the slot cleared out in front and we weren’t hurt by rebounds.”  

The Korean Ice Hockey Association hosted an instructional coach’s symposium during the tourney for youth outreach. The KIHA honored So Jung Shin of Korea with the Best Goalie Award for the tournament.  Pozniewska was named the Best Forward and Anna Agustsdottir of Iceland was named Best Defenseman.

The 2012 IIHF First Division women’s tournament will be hosted next week by USA HockeyBurlington, Vermont.  

Editors Note:  Raymond Rolak recently presented his ‘Teach the Teachers’ clinic for ice hockey coaches in Chiba, Japan The program is currently being prepared in Polish under the title „Let’s Build A Thousand Rinks.”