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Thread: Lithuania

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    IHF Prospect marijo19's Avatar
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    Lithuania Lithuania

    Please - Help! ...History Ice Hockey in Lithuania

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    IHF Member
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    Lithuania

    Quote Originally Posted by marijo19 View Post
    Please - Help! ...History Ice Hockey in Lithuania
    In Lithuania we started to play ice hockey in 1922. The same year the first ice hockey team was organized by our legendary pilot (then serving in Lithuanian Air Force) cpt. Steponas Darius, the member of the Lithuanian Union of Physical Education (LFLS) - the biggest sports club of Independant Lithuania (1918-1940), and the first official Ice Hockey games took place then (winter of 1922). The first Lithuanian Ice Hockey Championships started on 30th January 1926, with 4 clubs - LFLS, KSK, "Kovas" and the famous Jewish club "Makabi" from Kaunas. Champions of Lithuania - 1926 became LFLS (the same club also won the 1927 year title).

    The first Official International Match Lithuanian team played versus our Brother Country Latvia on 6th of March 1932 in Riga, Latvia. 0:3 was the result.

    The most noteworthy year in Lithuanian ice hockey history is 1938, for Lithuania became the member of the International Ice Hockey Union and made its debut in the European and World Championships in Prague. I have some original pictures from that historical event and can share them in this forum, but I hope that other forum members from the other countries that met Lithuanian team in Prague 1938 (in group A) will also share some of their historical pics or other documents.

    The debut for the "students team" from Lithuania was successful enough. We won the first game Lithuania versus Romania 1:0 (0:0, 1:0, 0:0). And this was the first "sensation" of the Championships (according to the press in Prague). But unfornutately the second game we've lost, mainly because of bad injury have got one of our best players, forward Vytautas Ilgūnas - student of The Kaunas Vytautas The Great Univercity (at the end of 2/3 of the match with the Poland). Elimination of V. Ilgūnas was so fatal to unexperienced Lithuanian team, that we have lost to Poland 1:8 (0:3, 0:0, 1:5) and later next 2 games even more badly (Lithuania-Hungary 1:10, Lithuania-Switzerland 0:15).

    There were plans to take part in the next European and World Championships in 1939, which were planned to be in Poland, but probably due to some well known activity towards Poland and the rest of Europe by two Comrades with the moustaches the Championships of 1939 were held in much more calm but also more expensive country (for the young "student team") - Switzerland. So Lithuania decided to wait for the better days...

    Few knows now that after Soviets occupied Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, after the WW2, some still left alive and not fled to the Free World former Ice Hockey players and coaches of two occupied Brother Baltic States - Latvia and especially Lithuania had only two choices left - to teach Russians how to play Ice Hockey well, or to go to GULAG...

    When the second of Two Friends and Brothers in Arms with the moustache finally died, those Lithuanian sportsmen who had no choices at all started to return from the Siberian GULAG, they met their old friends from the times of Freedom. And they use to tallk still quite brave and openly (to speak or write about it publicly was strictly prohibited by the Russian KGB in occupied Lithuania). So only in the private kitchens and sometimes in the pubs of Kaunas they use to tallk about what great and popular Ice Hockey we used to have when we were 3 Free Baltic countries and that ocupants Russians have to be very thankfull for their first forced Ice Hockey teachers - Latvians and especially Lithuanians. This old generation of Latvian and Lithuanian players and coaches unfurtunatelly passed already, but thanks to God and those who died for the Freedom, they had some years of Free speach and Free press in Lithuania to share they memories openly. So we have some authentic testimonies left (about how occupied Lithuanians taught occupants how to play Ice Hockey in 1946-1948)...

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