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Thread: 2016 IIHF World Div.IIB Championship - Mexico City, Mexico; 9th-15th.Apr

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    2016 IIHF World Div.IIB Championship - Mexico City, Mexico; 9th-15th.Apr

    Australia (Relagated from Div.IIA)
    Bulgaria
    Israel
    Mexico
    New Zealand
    DPR Korea (Promoted from Div.III)

    Tournament schedule
    DateHome TeamAway TeamTimeVenue
    9/4 New Zealand Israel 13:00 Ice Dome
    9/4 DPR Korea Bulgaria 16:30 Ice Dome
    9/4 Mexico Australia20:30 Ice Dome
    10/4 Israel DPR Korea13:00 Ice Dome
    10/4 Australia Bulgaria 16:30 Ice Dome
    10/4 New ZealandMexico20:00 Ice Dome
    12/4 Australia Israel 13:00 Ice Dome
    12/4 New ZealandDPR Korea16:30 Ice Dome
    12/4 Mexico Bulgaria 20:00 Ice Dome
    14/4 Bulgaria New Zealand 13:00 Ice Dome
    14/4 DPR Korea Australia 16:30 Ice Dome
    14/4 Israel Mexico 20:00 Ice Dome
    15/4 Australia New Zealand 13:00 Ice Dome
    15/4 Bulgaria Israel 16:30 Ice Dome
    15/4 Mexico DPR Korea 20:00 Ice Dome

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    IHF Member Conesy's Avatar
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    A semi-retired from hockey Georgi Iskrenov will be showing up for Bulgaria
    Twitter: @CSmeeth

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    Australia Australia - Roster

    Goaltenders:

    Defencemen:

    Forwards:

    http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/539/IHM5...33_1_0_AUS.pdf

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    Bulgaria Bulgaria - Roster

    Goaltenders:

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    Forwards:

    http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/539/IHM5...33_5_0_BUL.pdf

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    Israel Israel - Roster

    Goaltenders:

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    http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/539/IHM5...33_6_0_ISR.pdf

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    Mexico Mexico - Roster

    Goaltenders:

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    http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/539/IHM5...33_2_0_MEX.pdf

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    New Zealand New Zealand - Roster

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    http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/539/IHM5...33_3_0_NZL.pdf

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    North Korea DPR Korea - Roster

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    http://stats.iihf.com/Hydra/539/IHM5...33_4_0_PRK.pdf

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    Where is our Israel friend? How to watch the Israel this year came in worst squad than last year, excluding naturalized players. What news from Israel? ;)

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    IHF Member MDani's Avatar
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    Bulgaria has 40 years old Vasil Piperevski in the roster - seems we have another veteran after Mihailov.
    And why DPR Korea has only 16 skaters? Financial reasons or what?
    For me, Australia is the favourite for promotion, and DPR Korea will go down, this is not question for me. The rest of the group seems quite together now.

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    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDani View Post
    And why DPR Korea has only 16 skaters? Financial reasons or what?
    In 2013 they also sent only 16 skaters to South Africa. Finances probably play a roll in that but it could also have political reasoning. Mexico City is quite developed and the country shares a border with the USA. Fewer players are easier to keep track of...
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    Well, the North Koreans came very well prepared, now, the placento go down is open. Bulgaria is already in problems and Israel could be the key match to stay. Nice game between Aussies and Aztecs.

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    Didn't see that coming, looks like DPR Korea won't be the ones to go down.

    Geoff
    Quote Originally Posted by Robocop View Post
    Well, the North Koreans came very well prepared, now, the placento go down is open. Bulgaria is already in problems and Israel could be the key match to stay. Nice game between Aussies and Aztecs.

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    IHF Member MDani's Avatar
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    Seems DPR Korea is better than ever, and Bulgaria is just weaker as used to be. (Which is interesting, as I know their home league was not as bad as it was in the past years) Btw: Where is Hodulov and Nikolov, their two best players?

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    IHF Member Conesy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robocop View Post
    Well, the North Koreans came very well prepared, now, the placento go down is open. Bulgaria is already in problems and Israel could be the key match to stay. Nice game between Aussies and Aztecs.
    Two players on Bulgaria had 12 and 16 PIMS, so I'm guessing there was a meltdown or two of sorts
    Twitter: @CSmeeth

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Welcome back under your latest new name, Pitztal. Don't worry. I am here. Holding back my commentary for now, but I will have plenty to say.

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    That mex-aus result makes top spot a bit murkier. Aus still in the drivers seat until they play the kiwis.

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    This is really bad for Bulgaria, still 5 minutes to go and 14 goals in their net. Yes Hadulov and Nikolov had been factors in previous years but without them this team lost their heart.

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    IHF Member nzice's Avatar
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    Shots on NZ vs Mex is current in fav of Mex 9-1 - looks like action is down NZ's end of the rink :-(

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    IHF Member nzice's Avatar
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    1-0 to NZ end of P2 - close game so far..
    NZ taking too many penalties - must be taking impact..

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    Another close game tonight, at the end Mexico came back to take the win, in the last 10 minutes NZL players looked out of gas, maybe the 8000 feet. After Mexico scored the 2nd goal there was no answer, they were a different team from the first and second period. Special mention to NZL goalie whi was incredible all game long.

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    IHF Member MDani's Avatar
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    We can say that with the victory of Israel and thei loss against Australia, Bulgaria is technically relegated. I don't think that they can either beat Israel (or with the necesary goal diference) or collect four points at this tournament (this latter would be a miracle after the games what they played so far).

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    The Korean kids Had been a nightmare to New Zealand, 4-5 in the 3rd period... PKR on top.

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    Interesting that New Zealand has lost all four matches they've ever played against North Korea. Would think that as a solid Division II club that participates yearly (not to mention the benefits of not being isolated from the world) New Zealand would be able to win at least once against the North Koreans, but they just can't ever seem to do it.

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    IHF Member MDani's Avatar
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    Seems DPR Korea made also great improvements compared to past years. Now it seems that Bulgaria has a little hope, if they beat New Zealand - I'm almost sure that they will not - and the Kiwis not earn more points, than they can stay in.
    Also, AUstralia seems to be above the others and they don't want to loose more points that the one what they lost against Mexico. Mexico is also better than ever, but so far it seems that OT loss against Australia will decide.

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Israel's team has some internal turmoil which has affected the roster, and therefore the results.

    Two years ago, Israel beat Australia 4-3 in OT. Now they lose to the same team 11-3, albeit because they have a very different roster.

    Israel has some promising, very good young players at this event - including Elie Klein, Ilya Spektor, Roey Aharonovich, Shai Maaravi, Yuval Rosenthal and Maxim Gokhberg. However, they are being asked to be the team's leaders and carry the load of the production and playing time, and it isn't fair to them at this level given the relatively early stage of their careers.

    You'll notice Israel is missing some big names - Maxim Birbraer, Daniel Erlich, Eliezer Sherbatov, Sergei Frenkel, Shlomi Levy, Isaac Levy, Tal Avneri, Ron Oz, and Ron Soreanu - among others.

    There's a reason for that.

    Two years ago, Israel's federation inexplicably hired Derek Eisler to be the head coach of the mens', U20 and U18 Israeli teams, despite his only head coaching experience having been two terrible seasons as the head coach of the Asia League's China Sharks.

    Eisler has, by most accounts, treated Israel's young players (and the Israeli league based players regardless of age) very well. However, he came in with a chip on his shoulder concerning the dual-national veterans. He decided he wanted to 'rebuild' the team, and that only younger players would listen to him. So he cut Frenkel (Israel's all time leading point scorer), both Levy brothers (despite both being point per game players last year and Shlomi being the tournament's second best faceoff man), Oz, & Soreanu. These guys all can still play (despite Oz and S. Levy admittedly being up there in age) at a much higher level than most of the guys on the present roster. Why not mix them in with Israel's up and coming best young players to form a dynamic, talented roster with a mix of experience and youth, and have the veterans use their experience at numerous IIHF world championships to teach and mentor the young players? That would give Israel the ability to roll four lines, and none of the players would be overworked. Instead, Eisler basically uses two lines - and those guys are exhausted. He barely uses the third line for 5 minutes per game and the 4th liners see 1 minute per game if they're lucky. Why name players to a roster if you don't trust them with more than 2 or 3 shifts per game? Why purposefully alienate guys who are more skilled than most of the guys on your roster, and who have given their blood for the program over many years? This from a coach with almost no head coaching experience, zero success as a head coach, no connection to Israel as a country or as a people, and no connection to or history with Israel hockey.

    But no, Coach Eisler didn't want to even attempt to forge a relationship with almost any of the veterans, despite having zero IIHF world championship experience of his own, or even much head coaching experience of his own. He wanted only young players and Israeli league based players that he could easily control, with the exceptions of Spivak and Mazour. And as a result, Israel's current pro players (Birbraer, Erlich, Sherbatov) don't want to play for this guy. They don't want to, after playing pro hockey all year, come to the worlds without almost any of their fellow vets on the roster, without Israel icing its best possible roster. They don't want to come play for a guy who doesn't respect the veterans or the history of the program.

    The IIHF world championships are not where players are supposed to be developed. That's what league play, other tournaments, development camps and practices are for. The worlds are where a nation ices its very best players in that current year, and tries to achieve the best ranking that it can. Yet this coach refuses to do that and the federation is seemingly OK with it. Meanwhile, this is his fifth IIHF world championship now between the men, the U20's and the U18's over two years - and he has yet to win even a single bronze medal and won't win one this year in Mexico City. He hasn't won a medal at any age group, either in IIHF U18 D3, IIHF U20 D3, or IIHF mens' D2B. He has alienated most of Israel's top players for no good reason.

    Ilya Spektor is 19 or 20 years old. Good young player and a good kid. I count him as a friend, and I respect him. He is already one of Israel's better players. Eisler gave him the captaincy after stripping it away from Daniel Spivak. This makes no sense in 2016. Ilya has played in the Israeli youth leagues, the Israeli top league, and Tier III Junior (i.e., Jr. B) in the USA. Spivak, meanwhile, is the best D-man Israel has ever had, has played for the team since he is 15 or 16, is in his prime at 27 years old, captained NCAA D.I RIT to the Frozen Four, was the Central league's rookie of the year in his first pro season, and played in the ECHL. Why the hell would Spivak not be, at this moment, the choice for captain on this roster? Another example of disrespect from this coach.

    I know most of the players who are playing this year, and I know most of the guys I mentioned who are not playing this year.

    Every single guy on this year's roster is giving his very best. Several of them have bright futures as impact players for Israel. Some of them are depth players, and that is fine too. I respect every single guy on the roster for their willingness to represent Israel with pride and to give their very best.

    Two points though - First, Israel, like every country, should be icing its very best roster at the world championships, and this coach refuses to do that. Second, the players should be playing for a coach that respects them and respects the program's history, and makes at least an honest attempt to get along with the veterans.

    My hope is that the federation sees the lack of results and makes a change. The best players should be playing in any given year. One day, the veterans I named won't be able to hack it anymore at the IIHF D.2B level. However, that day isn't now and Israel is suffering as a result of this coach's personal vendetta. That's a shame.
    Last edited by Marc Brunengraber; 13-04-2016 at 23:04. Reason: corrected typo

  27. #27
    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Two points though ... Second, the players should be playing for a coach that respects them and respects the program's history, and makes at least an honest attempt to get along with the veterans.
    It's the opposite of the British program where the players managed to oust Tony Hand as head coach after two years because of personality clashes, despite his ability to extract results.

    By your words, the difference there is Eisler isn't making an attempt to find the best players while Hand couldn't get the players to play for him.

    Then there was Mike Sirant at the helm of Denmark and we can all remember Karsten absolutely bodyslamming him for imposing a system his players weren't physically prepared for. Greg Poss was criticized for his coaching of the German national team for trying systems he didn't have enough talent to run. But those two were down to coaching philosophy, not player selections.

    Mark, because you said the federation is 'seemingly OK with' Eisler at the reins, are his selections personal or is the federation directing him to use younger Israeli league players to avoid the reliance on aging dual-nationals (admittedly, Erlich and Sherbatov aren't old at all)? Would another coach be more intent on selecting his best possible team, even if it was against a youth movement wish of the federation?
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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Trim - It's a combination of both, I think.

    The federation has made no secret of its desire to ultimately one day have a team that is entirely Israeli-league based. Of course, to get there, the Israeli league's standard would need to be seriously improved. And that needs a full sized rink in the population center (i.e., Tel Aviv or its surrounding cities & suburbs) to happen, together with making the season longer. They could start with having the ten teams play each other twice in the regular season, for an 18-game regular season, followed by playoffs (best of three per series). Get those things done, and get some real and regular mainstream TV and newspaper coverage, and the league and the clubs could attract some investment. That, in turn, might make it worth it for decent imports to come and play in the league, which in turn would help over time to raise the standard of the local players. They could also conduct the league in the summer, like Australia and New Zealand do, to attract imports, as the imports could play the Israeli season to stay in shape for their other competitions. Jewish imports would be able to automatically qualify for citizenship under the Israeli Law of Return, and if they played two straight years in Israel could potentially bolster the national team. Anyway, I digress.

    As I mentioned in my earlier post, there are a good number of younger players on this year's roster who are already impact players for Israel, or have the real potential to be impact players. But for now, there's no reason to allow a coach with zero record of success, limited head coaching experience of any kind, and no connection to Israel or history with the program to summarily cut dual-national veterans who significantly strengthen the current national team, and who have given their heart and soul to Israeli hockey for the better part of a decade. They would make this year's squad much stronger and could help mentor the young players so that they are ready when the time comes to assume leading roles, instead of being rushed in too early.

    Eisler, perhaps, feels intimidated by the veterans, since their resumes are more accomplished than his own in the hockey world. In any event, he has allowed his personal vendettas to poison the program, and the federation has, up until now, not seen fit to put a stop to it. Hopefully the federation will choose to make a change after the tournament is over. Barring an upset of Mexico, Israel will beat Bulgaria (who themselves sent basically their U20 squad with a few veterans thrown in, but are missing all of their big guns - Yotov, Muhachev, etc.) and finish out of the medals at 2-3, in either 4th or 5th place out of 6 teams.

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    As for the other teams, Australia is clearly the best team at the tournament, followed closely by Mexico.

    The Mexicans have gotten much better over the past 5 or so years, despite the fact that they have no real national league anymore (which of course is violative of IIHF rules, but that's a completely separate issue). The rink that the tournament is being held at seems to be really nice.

    New Zealand is your bronze medal winner here, and they seem to have stagnated this year. They had been getting better and better for years, but seem to have hit a wall in terms of how good they can be.

    Not sure why Bulgaria chose to basically send a U20 squad with a few reinforcements.

    North Korea seems to be about what I expected; maybe a touch better.

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    Think if remaining results go as expected ISR gets bronze, on goal difference, after a three way tie on points with NZL and PRK.

    Geoff
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    As for the other teams, Australia is clearly the best team at the tournament, followed closely by Mexico.

    The Mexicans have gotten much better over the past 5 or so years, despite the fact that they have no real national league anymore (which of course is violative of IIHF rules, but that's a completely separate issue). The rink that the tournament is being held at seems to be really nice.

    New Zealand is your bronze medal winner here, and they seem to have stagnated this year. They had been getting better and better for years, but seem to have hit a wall in terms of how good they can be.

    Not sure why Bulgaria chose to basically send a U20 squad with a few reinforcements.

    North Korea seems to be about what I expected; maybe a touch better.

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    IHF Member MDani's Avatar
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    I never saw such a bad Bulgarian team - I mean they were never the top players, but not this bad. When whas the last time when they get wrecked so badly by everyone? Also, if Irbis is their home champion, then why almost nobody is there from that team?
    Mexico have to cheer for New Zealand to steal at least two point from Australia, or they will be only silver medalists.
    Also, PRK hase a good chance for bronze - which would be I think their best result ever.

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    Marc, there was a 16 games league until twi years ago in Mexico, now they have a full year tournament, there are 36 teams divided in 6 divisions. The top division and the second division have the majority of the national team players from the las 20 years and several foreigners from north countries, people that works here from Europe, Canada & USA. In every tournament the worst team in one division go down to the division below and the division champ go up one division. I can send you the schedule for 2016 summer tournament.

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Robocop - I was unaware of anything since their semipro national league collapsed. So that is welcome news. The Mexicans have built a very nice national team and have continually improved. Would you mind starting a thread on the Mexican championship? I'd love to follow it, and I'm sure many here would love to as well.

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    If Israel wins the bronze on goal differential, it's basically a participation trophy rather than a real triumph. They'll go 2-3 in D2B, with their only wins coming against a team promoted from D3 and a Bulgarian squad that is basically a junior team with 2-3 mens' players and a couple of U18's mixed in. Then you have a competitive loss (but still a loss) to New Zealand and two blowout losses to Australia and Mexico - teams Israel has beaten in recent years before Coach Eisler when Israel used all of its best players instead of only some of them.

    Again, these observations are not meant as a criticism of the current players. Many are the future of Israeli hockey, and every guy there is trying his best and representing Israel with pride. I know they are giving their very best because I am watching the games on Fasthockey.com. All I am saying is that the Federation needs to analyze what has happened since they went with this coach, look at how he has damaged the relationship of many players with the Federation, look at the lack of results with the U18's, the U20's and the men, and make a change. One back door bronze (if they get it) in 5 or 6 tourneys over 2 years with 3 different age groups, all while alienating a core group of veterans and hurting their relationship with the Federation, is simply not good enough and not realistically viewed as anything other than failure. Time for a new head coach. Time to make Israeli hockey united rather than divided. Time to mix the best of Israel's young players with its veterans who can still improve the team, and mentor those young players so that they can assume leading roles over time instead of asking too much of them too soon.

    I have plenty of faith in the Federation. They are good men who truly want the best for Israeli hockey. I am sure that they will do what is needed. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

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    Yes Marc, I wil try to do it but I can't promise to have all the division in the thread and all the games. I travel a lot between Dallas, Arkansas and Cuernavaca in Mexico and is kind of hard for me to follow them. My older son (Jean Cobo) is playing for the University of Arkansas Ice Hogs ACHA Div 1, then I prefer to go there and watch his games. My younger boy plays for the Battle Mercenaries in the 3rd division in Mexico City, he is only 14 but had played three AAA seasons in USA with the Dallas Stars Elite U10 and Dallas Ice Jets AAA U12.

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    For the good of this division hockey, you are right Marc, when you play against better players you learn more and they make you play better if you want to win... I remember three years ago when NZL beats Mexico, Israel beats NZL and Mexico beats Israel, and Israel was promoted to div 2a. That one was fun to watch.

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    IHF Member MDani's Avatar
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    Australia made it, they are back in the DIV2/A, as their game against New Zealand just ended with a 6-2 winn.. Mexico has the silver - even so, they have nothing to shame about, guess it's one of their best results so far.
    Also, I'm curious how poor PRK-goalies made that 50% save percentage. Guess they were mostly overrun by the Australians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDani View Post
    Australia made it, they are back in the DIV2/A, as their game against New Zealand just ended with a 6-2 winn.. Mexico has the silver - even so, they have nothing to shame about, guess it's one of their best results so far.
    Also, I'm curious how poor PRK-goalies made that 50% save percentage. Guess they were mostly overrun by the Australians.
    Mexico ties his best effort, two years ago in Jaca, Spain, they obrain the silver too, they lost against Spain with the same score that they have in this tournament against Australia.

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    Sorry to slightly hijack this thread back towards Israel, but does the team receive any serious coverage in the Jewish-targeted media (as in, overseas diaspora communities like New York), and if so, is there an effort to drum up real support or they seen as little more than a novelty?

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    I can't speak for the NY area, or the US in general (I'll leave that to Marc). But up here in Canada, we have the the Canadian Jewish News (CJN) based in Toronto and they have given the team coverage on occasion. Couple nice examples:

    Article from 2013 when the team won gold in Div. 2B and was promoted:
    http://www.cjnews.com/news/sports/is...gold-medal-win

    A feature on Oren Eizenman:
    http://www.cjnews.com/culture/arts/e...ls-japan-korea

    They also wrote briefly this week about the team playing (and beating) North Korea:
    http://www.cjnews.com/news/internati...esday-april-13

    There was a longer piece as well about the team getting a glimpse into the lifestyle of the North Korea players, but I can't seem to find it.

    Aside from this, there would have been tons of coverage from multiple outlets of Sherbatov's YouTube fame a few years back, and obviously of course of the team's biggest accomplishment when they were promoted to Division I a decade ago.

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    IHF Staff Davide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robocop View Post
    Marc, there was a 16 games league until twi years ago in Mexico, now they have a full year tournament, there are 36 teams divided in 6 divisions. The top division and the second division have the majority of the national team players from the las 20 years and several foreigners from north countries, people that works here from Europe, Canada & USA. In every tournament the worst team in one division go down to the division below and the division champ go up one division. I can send you the schedule for 2016 summer tournament.
    Wow, if so, unknown and impressive organization by MEX, but federation website reports just a female tournament and a couple of midget\bantam tournaments. Why such a lack of infos and stats about adult leagues? I'm interesting in schedule (and results) BTW

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    The resouces received to develop the female hockey team from the mexican olimpic comitte are 10 times bigger than the male one, basically the men teams depends from parents and players. This is the reason you can see the girls data in the web.

  43. #43
    IHF Prospect
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDani View Post
    I never saw such a bad Bulgarian team - I mean they were never the top players, but not this bad. When whas the last time when they get wrecked so badly by everyone? Also, if Irbis is their home champion, then why almost nobody is there from that team?
    Mexico have to cheer for New Zealand to steal at least two point from Australia, or they will be only silver medalists.
    Also, PRK hase a good chance for bronze - which would be I think their best result ever.
    Most of the Irbis players refuse to play for Bulgarian national team. Reason for that is the current president of Bulgarian Ice Hockey Federation, so it's a form of their protest against him. Need to say they are not youngsters anymore but I'm pretty sure Bulgaria would manage to stay in the group having them on its roster.

  44. #44
    IHF Member sloklo's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    Aussies are back where they belong. In DivIIA only the team that left the higher rank is a bit above the others. Serbia, Belgium, Spain, Iceland and Australia are about the same level and they actually don´t belong to the lower second divison. China, that usually replace the teams that fall out of DivIIA, is not at their level.

  45. #45
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    BhamJohn - In answer to your question about coverage of the Israeli national team in the North American diaspora, see here: http://www.internationalhockey.net/f...-North-America

    I am honored to say that I have had an active part in promoting the national team and Israeli hockey overall and helping the federation get exposure and some much needed fundraising.

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