A quick lesson. College and European hockey don’t mix well. Throughout my college career, I can’t imagine how many games I have watched during lectures. I have no regrets either.
Damian Tyczynski was Poland’s best forward at this tournament by far. With 12 points in 5 games, he lead the tournament in scoring by two points. He has carved up the Slovakia junior system so his performance is no surprise. I will always say I feel great about Poland’s future at forward, due to a core group that does include Tyczysnki.
The Destruction of Down Under
I usually don’t like to talk about blowouts out of respect for the other country, but Poland absolutely killed Australia. 16-0 was the final score. Shots were 62-6. It was an insane game. I don’t even want to call it a hockey game It was like an act of war.
David Leger is the Right Coach
Leger coached his second tournament for Poland and I will say for sure he is who I want leading Poland’s future. I have been impressed by how his teams have played at U18 and U20 championships. Yes, a silver and bronze are not the results you want, but I wouldn’t put the blame on Leger. For the silver, Norway would have blown out Poland in the past, this year Leger and Poland took them all the way to the end. For this year’s bronze, some kids made mistakes they’ll learn and come back stronger.
Libik is a Part of the Future
One of the performances I was most impressed with was Klaudiusz Libik. Libik was somewhat off the radar this year until he first appeared on a U16 team for Poland. The 16-year-old is having a great year in the Norwegian junior system. 16 points in 22 U18 games and 2 assist in 15 u20 games. At such a young age, it was shocking to see him be one of Poland’s best defensemen if not the best. He finished with 4 assists in 5 games. He was on the ice for only one goal against the entire tournament. Poland got a really good one in Libik. I can’t wait to see him next year.
Why Does This Keep Happening?
The ending is not a new one for Poland’s juniors. The U20 team has lost gold on the final day in three straight years. The U18 team also had their failed brushes with gold recently. You really have to feel for the kids. Jan Solty was a part of both Poland’s teams this year that lost gold so quickly. Why does it keep happening? Is Poland cursed?
– STS Sanok Sucess. When Sanok moved to Slovakia’s third league, one of the things I hoped is young players would be a key part of the team. They have been. Maciej Witan is proof of that. 9 points in 5 games.
– Jan Solty continued to impress. He is part of the core I talked about earlier. 7 points in 5 games. I hope he moves to a stronger league for next season. He has the availability.
-Sebastian Lipinski was named the best goalie of the tournament. He was good. He made some mistakes his biggest being throwing his stick giving Estonia a penalty shot. Learn and move on. Poland’s goalie of the future is a wide-open race. Lipinski has a pretty good shot at taking it.
– I know I sound like a broken record, but Jakub Lewandowski was great. The 16-year-old forward was a huge offensive force. His goal against Estonia was beautiful.