The team took part in sixteen top-level IIHF World Championships (1998-2001, 2003, 2005 – till now). The best achievement so far has been 6th place at the 2006 IIHF World Championship in Riga, Latvia. Team Belarus also took part in 3 Olympic Games (1998, 2002, 2010). It achieved its best Olympic result in Salt Lake City in 2002 when team Belarus sensationally occupied the 4th place, having claimed victory over team Sweden in the quarterfinal with the score 4:3. In December, 2014 Team Belarus was headed by Dave Lewis. Belarus repeated its success achieved in Minsk and with 14 points occupied the 7th place in the 2015 IIHF WM final standings. It allowed Team Belarus to improve its position in the IIHF Ranking and become the 9th country in the list. The results of 2016 IIHF World Championship in Russia were not very successful. Winning two games, Team Belarus took its 12 place.
When the Danish National Team enters the ice in Minsk for the FOQ D it will be with a historic roster – never before has the entire North American contingent of NHL players been available for playing on the same team. Denmark will play hosts Belarus, Slovenia and Poland in an attempt to qualify for the Olympic Games 2018. The winner takes all and it will be a highly motivated Danish team travelling to Minsk.
- We have never had the honor to participate at the Winter Olympics and I can guarantee that all our players will do their utmost to make our combined dream come true. We enter the tournament with an historic roster and naturally we will be both heartbroken and disappointed if we are not successful says General Manager Kim Pedersen and continues;
- But it will in no manner be a walk in the park and we come with the deepest respect for our three opponents. We will play a highly skilled Belarus team on their home ice with 15.000 spectators backing them, a Slovenian team with lots of skill and heart who – incidentally – surprised both us and Belarus and won a spot in Sochi 2014 and lastly a Polish team who is improving year by year and will be a Top Division participant in the very near future.
Newly signed Detroit Red Wings player Frans Nielsen will captain the team in Minsk.
Slovenia’s men Senior Hockey Team has so far played at twenty-four world championship tournaments, with the debut in 1993. Slovenia also played at five Winter Olympics qualifications: in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and most recently in 2013, earning the ticket to 2014 Sochi Olympics. After Yugoslavia’s dissolution and the break-up of its hockey team - with majority players from Slovenia - newly formed Slovenian Hockey Team played its first international game against Austria in spring of 1992, even before Slovenia officially joined the IIHF. Since then Slovenia played 375 various international games. Debut at the World Championship stage was in 1993 when they played in “Group C” in Slovenia. Due to the break-up of Soviet Union’s and Czechoslovakia’s national teams into several strong new national teams it took Slovenia five years to advance into “Group B” by winning silver in Estonia in 1997. In April of 2001 Slovenia’s Men Hockey Team advanced to the Elite Division by defeating Estonia 16:0 at the World Championship in Ljubljana. Since then Slovenia played among the world’s hockey elite eight times, avoiding relegation on two occasions; Slovenia again won its place in the Elite Division at the 2014 World Championship in Korea. In the same year country’s national team reached another milestone by playing at the Winter Olympics for the first time in its history, reaching the quarterfinals and finishing at the seventh place overall. As Slovenia was unsuccessful in avoiding relegation at the 2015 World Championships Elite Division in Czech Republic the return among the world’s hockey elite was team’s main goal in 2015/16 season. With four wins and one defeat at the 2016 Division IA World Championship in Poland the Slovenian Men’s Hockey Team won first place and the right to return to the Elite Division.
It has been 24 years since we last quealified to the olimpic games. The 'white-and-reds' are still reminiscing about the tournamnet in Albertville in 1992 and hope than after so many years the Polish Team will be again promoted to the most important competition. The current national team coach Jacek Plachta continues the work of Igor Zacharkin and Vyacheslav Bykov, who have promoted Polish team to Division IA. Last year, the Polish team finished third at the World Championship IA in Krakow. Poland also won bronze medal this year, therefore the team is very close to promotion to the elite.
– Ice hockey becomes a more popular sport in Poland. We are rebuilding this discipline step by step. I hope that soon we will be playing in Top16. Faith, concentration, team work – these are the main strengths of our team, – says Dawid Chwalka, president of the Ice Hockey Polish Federation, who was elected for a second term in May.
Polish team begins the tournament in Minsk against the national team of Slovenia, which was defeated in April during the World Championships in Katowice. Polish fans hope for the same result again and the team will make a nice surprise at the tournament in Minsk. The level of Polish league is constantly increasing. National champion – Comarch Cracovia – became a part of the Champions Hockey League. Another team, GKS Tychy, won bronze medal in the Continental Cup last season. The strength of the team is based on the players of these two clubs. Another important player is goalkeeper Przemyslaw Odrobny who has changed the French league for the British this summer. Patryk Wronka, ayoung and daintyPolish forward, was named the Best Forward at the World Championship in Katowice in April. Recently, he received an offer and signed with a strong Czech team – Orli Znojmo.