Category: Womens Hockey

Top 15 Female U20 Polish Players. Part 2: 5 and 4

To see players 15-6 click here.

5. Wiktoria Gogoc

Gogoc has been considered one of Poland’s best defensemen for a long time now. Despite being only 18-years-old, she has already represented Poland on the senior level four different times. She was named the captain of Poland’s u18 team in 2017-18. She plays a two-way game and has the ability to rush the puck.

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Gogoc was able to thrive early in her career against tough competition. From 2015-2017, she played in the top Slovakian’s women league. In 40 games, she recorded 14 goals and 21 assists. In 2017-18 she would return to the PLHK with Naprzod Janow. In her first season back in the PLHK she had 7 points (3G, 4A) in 22 games. Gogoc also played 6 games and scored 1 goal at the Men’s u16 level. For this season, she moved to Polonia Bytom. In Bytom she won the PLHK championship this year, contributing 3 points (2G, 1A) in 4 playoff games. She had 2 assist in 7 regular season games. Her production decreases in the PLHK are a bit concerning.

These PLHK trends add to more concern after her performance at last year’s World Championships. In 207-18, she failed to record a single shot in 5 games, along with being heavily overmatched by the competition at times. I don’t want to judge her performance at his year’s worlds too much due to the fact that there was no way to view the event outside of actually being in China. Gogoc was on the lone defensive pairing, with Natalia Kaminska, that had a negative goal differential. She also scored a powerplay goal at the tournament for Poland.

Gogoc still remains of Poland’s top choices on defense. Her game should still continue to improve and as more strong offesnive players join into the line up making her skill set more useful.

4. Zuzanna Baran

Baran slots in at number four after a very strong U18 championship that saw her finish second on the team in points with 4 (1G, 3A). She was also put in a leadership position with being named an assistant captain.

Baran’s made her PLHK team debut in 2016-17 with KS Cracovia 1906, scoring 3 goals in 4 games. Her season was mostly spent with MKHL Krynica in the Slovakian league. In Slovakia, she had 6 points (1G, 5A) in 19 games. She would have a similar situation in the 2017-18 season. She only played one game in the PLHK, spending most of her time in Slovakia again with Krynica. She increased her production by a lot, scoring 8 goals and putting up 2 assist in 18 games. MKHL Krynica would not compete in the Slovakian league for 2018-19. Baran had shown enough in her time to earn a spot with one of the top clubs in the Slovakian league.

Baran, with Ida Talanda, are the lone Polish players to play in the Slovakia women’s league for a club other than Popradské líšky. The 16-year-old suited up for Sarisanka Prešov this season. She had 23 points (14G, 9A) in 20 games, this was good for 13th in the league. It was the 4th most by any player under 18. Baran is part of the strong emerging core of superb offensive skilled players. She has already proven her abilities in the Slovakian league and I hope to see her take on more challenges in the future.

 

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Top 15 Female U20 Polish Players. Part 1: 15-6

Women’s ice hockey is on the rise in Poland. There is a great mix of top veterans and young players that are leading the charge. While the World Championships and U18 event did not bring any gold this year. They played well at each tournament. They only lost two games at both, earning a Bronze medal at the World Championship. There is a huge drive within the players to get better and improve, this includes more players playing abroad. Young players have also been able to make an impact in the Polska Liga Hokeja Kobiet (PLHK), the top women’s league in Poland. These rankings are based on a mixture of a player’s current play and their potential.

Honorable Mention: Karolina Rostalska – Rostalska was one of the most improved players this season. The previous season she recorded 3 points (1G, 2A) in 11 games with UKH Biale Jastrzebie, this year she increased her production to 11 points (6G, 5A) in 16 games. This earned the 17-year-old a spot on the U18 squad for the first time. Rostalska’s huge improvement this season has me hoping we will continue to see a steady rise in her play.

15. Ida Talanda – Talanda is a solid right wing and has been able to play in the top Slovakian women’s league since she was 13-years-old. In 2017-18 She was tied for first in games played among U18 players and recorded 3 points (2G, 1A). She set a new career this year in points at 4 (1G, 3A) despite playing only 4 games.  This year at 15, she made her U18 debut for Team Poland. She was held pointless in 5 games. 

14. Alicja Wcislo – Wcislo is a two-way defensemen, who was tied in the lead for points at last year’s U18 Championships. She also had 15 points in 15 games with Polonia Bytom last year. This year Wcislo posted less strong numbers only recording 4 points in 10 games. She made her senior debut at the World Championship going pointless in 5 games. The more experience she gets at the senior level, the more we should see the offensive part return to her game.

13. Alicja Siejka – Siejka made her senior team debut this year after a U18 championship that saw her tied for the lead in points on Poland. She continued her solid play with Stoczniowiec Gdansk. Her goal count dropped from 12 to 3, but turned it on in the playoffs with 5 goals in 5 games. She was also held pointless in 5 games at the senior World Championship.

12. Anna Kot – Kot made her U18 debut this year at 14-years-old. At the event, she didn’t look out of place on defense and recorded 1 assist. She has been playing in the top Polish women’s league, since she was 12. There are still improvements needed on the defensive end, but those should easily come with time. I’m really excited to see how she comes back next year.

11. Maja Blaszkow – Blaszkow has not been able to make as much of an impact in Poland’s women league as others on the list. She has only played 8 PLHK games over the past 2 seasons. Her success has been at the U18 Championships, where she recorded 2 points this year, and one point last year. Blaszkow is only 15-years-old, but she should be on the production leaders on Poland at the U18s next year.

10. Karolina Baran – Baran had a good season with KS Cracovia 1906 in PLHK with 10 points (5G, 5A) in 15 games. For the playoffs, she switched over to PTH Kozice Poznan, where she had 4 points (2G, 2A) in 4 games. Baran also made her U18 debut this year and scored her first IIHF goal.

9. Alicja Kobus – Kobus had an outstanding season in the PLHK with 32 points (14G, 18A) in 15 games, as well as 6 points (2G, 4A) in 4 playoff games. Her 32 points were good for 6th in the PLHK. She also was above a point-per-game in 2017-18. She made her IIHF U18 debut this year, going pointless in 5 games. She was out for a lot of opportunities against and 5 goals, but at her young age losing some of those battles to older players is not that bad of a thing. I expect her to come back really improved next year.

8.Alicja Kopciara – Kopciara was a part of Poland’s top line this year at the U18s. This was her IIHF debut, like most players on the list. She finished third on Poland in points with 3 (2G, 1A). This comes after a strong season with Atomowki Tychy in the PLHK. She set a new career high in points at 5 (4G, 1A), but had an even better playoff with 5 goals in 7 games. Kopciara will also be back on what should be a really good Polish U18 team.

7. Iga Schramm – At 16-years-old, Schramm finished second in PLHK scoring, only 5 points behind Polish hockey great Karolina Pozniewska. Schramm had a total of 55 points including 38 goals in 15 games. She has already hit 100 career points in the PLHK. The previous year, Schramm had 38 points (27 G, 11A) in 10 PLHK games. She made her third U18 team this year, recording 2 assists. She also made her senior team debut at the World Championships.

6. Klaudia Kaleja – Kaleja had a dominant showing at the 2017-18 U18s recording 5 goals in 5 games. Kaleja has a ton of scoring ability and scored 9 goals in 19 games with the Poland U18 squad. In her professional career, she has 62 goals in 61 PLHK games. She played at both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 World Championships but missed this year. At 18-years-old she is already a 3-time PLHK champion.

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Polish Hockey Has Their Next Star! 5 Thoughts 2019 Women’s Division 1 Group B u18s

The women’s U18 team had a hot start to the tournament winning their first two games, but could not overcome group favorites France and Norway. In the end, they finished 4th place this year. This group faced a lot of adversity with not a lot of players returning from the 2018 bronze medal team, especially core members. This tournament shows the next generation of Polish player is still strong.

Superstar Sikorska

When you see a player put up stats like 10 points in 5 U18 games, you can usually guess that they may be an older player who is in their final year of eligibility. It is rare for that player to have another year of eligibility. Wiktoria Sikorska has two years of eligibility left. Sikorska is the next star of Polish hockey without a doubt. In 5 games this tournament, she had 7 goals and 3 assists. She lead the tournament in goals and points while finishing tied for 2nd in the assists. Sikorska plays in the top level of women’s hockey in the Czech Republic at only 15! In 5 games this year with SK Karvina, she has 5 points. If you want to see all her goals from the U18s click here.

Defensive Struggles

This team would struggle mightily on the defensive end. They allowed the 2nd most shots in the tournament and had some struggles with breaking the puck out. This defensive unit is very young though, the average age was 15.14. This was the youngest in the tournament. Julia Zielinska was the highlight of the group. The 14-year-old showed off some nice offensive potential including this shot from the point goal against the Netherlands.

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Penalty Killers

When a team struggles defensively, you would expect their penalty kill to suffer as well. That was not the case with this Polish team. Despite spending 26 minutes and 14 seconds shorthanded, 2nd most time in the tournament, Poland only allowed one powerplay goal. That is pretty good! I must note though that both France and Norway allowed zero goals in their combined 39 plus minutes shorthanded. This may take away from stat given the weak powerplays they faced, but given defense was this team’s weakness I still think its impressive.

The Cellys

This team had some great celebrations. It was really nice to see the energy and them having fun. Enjoy

jz cellyws cellyot celly

The Future

As I mentioned earlier this team showed the next generation of Polish players is talented. Despite the team not performing the best, future core members like Julia Zielinska, Wiktoria Sikorska, and Maja Blaszkow performed well. I expect this team to come back next year very strong. The future is bright for women’s hockey in Poland.

Quick Thoughts

– Helena Grzybowska did fine in net, but she doesn’t have the game stealer ability like Sass. She is still in line to be apart of the national team for a while though

– The production of this event was terrible. Putting games behind a paywall while the top division is free is dumb. It doesn’t help the grow the game at all and the broadcast wasn’t worth it. The broadcast had no play by play for games besides Great Britain and terrible camera work.

 

 

Summed Up! November’s National Team games.

This past weekend all 5 of Poland’s teams that compete at IIHF were in action. The teams were playing their first games together as they get ready for their IIHF events later in the year. Before the weekend recap, a reminder of this year’s World Championships!

Mens: Division 1 Group B April 28, 2019 – May 4, 2019 in Tallin, Estonia.

Women’s: Division 1 Group B April 6 – 12, 2019 in Beijing, China

Men’s U20: Division 1 Group B December 8-14, 2018 in Tychy, Poland

Men’s U18: Division 2 Group A April 7 – 13, 2019 in Elektrenai, Lithuania

Women’s U18: Division 1 Group B January 6 – 12, 2019 Dumfries, Great Britain

Men’s

The men’s team hosted an EIHC and well it was something. The Polish team was missing a lot of talent, as a lot of top talent is boycotting the national team right now. This left Poland with a very young team. The battle with the player association wasn’t the only problem for the PZHL at this tournament. Before the tournament started, Noureddine Bettahar, a Polish national team forward, took a puck to the head in practice and is still in a hospital, due to the injury. On the first day, Austria’s equipment didn’t arrive and their opening match was postponed till later in the day. The first game was between Poland and Denmark would be suspended at the start of the third period due to bad ice conditions. Austria’s and Norway’s game was never played due to the ice issues. The decision was made to just forget about the first day’s games. Poor attendance was also something that got pointed out a lot. Gdansk is a great hockey city and the PZHL failed to capitalize on it. Off the ice, this tournament was a failure for the PZHL, but on the ice, it was a success. Poland had a very young squad with fill-ins being borderline national team players or making their senior team debut. This team stayed competitive in all 2 2/3 games that they played and while their competition didn’t bring their top rosters, the competition is better than what Poland will face at the World Championships. Valtonen definitely appeared to be the right coach for team Poland.

Poland 1 – Denmark 0 (Play suspended at beginning of the 3rd period)

Poland 2 – Norway 4

Poland 0 – Austria 2

Women’s

The Women’s team traveled to Latvia for 2 exhibition games against Latvia. They dominated both games that finished with a goal differential of plus 12 for Poland. Latvia is in Poland’s group at the World Championships, so it is something you love to see. Kamila Wieczorek scored 6 goals in the two games.

Poland 6 – 1 Latvia

Poland 7 – 0 Latvia 

Men’s U20

The U20 team played in a 3 game tournament against Ukraine’s U20 squad and BFSO Dynamo a team of u20 players that compete in Belarus’ third league. Poland blew past Ukraine but struggled early against Dynamo. They would prevail beating Dynamo 4-3 though, securing first place in the tournament. The starting goalie job at the World Juniors should be Sebastian Lipinski, that is for sure. The U20 offense produced like I hoped it would. Poland should have a very strong showing at the U20s this year.

Poland 6 – 1 Ukraine 

Poland 4 – 3 BFSO Dynamo (Overtime)

Men’s U18

The Men’s U18 team played a couple games in Slovakia. They would win the first one against HK ŠKP Poprad U18, but lose the second game to HK Dukla Trencin U18. There isn’t much to say about these games other than it is good practice and this won’t be the final roster. 

Poland 5 – 0 HK ŠKP Poprad U18

Poland 1 – 5 HK Dukla Trencin U18

Women’s U18

The Women’s U18 team hosted a tournament with Spain, Great Britain, and Hungary participating. The women’s team definitely has a bright future with Wiktoria Sikorska and Zuzanna Baran being especially impressive in this tournament. Poland would finish 2nd in the tournament suffering one loss to Hungary.

Poland 3 – 0 Spain 

Poland 3 – 2 Great Britain

Poland 1 – 4 Hungary 

A Big Goose Egg. 5 Thoughts 2018 Women’s World Championships

No relegation is the best thing about this tournament for Poland.

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Wait, nevermind

All Hail Sass

Sass is an amazing goalie. She has the potential to carry Poland to wins in games, where they appear to be clearly overmatched. There were some faults in her run, but you could see the potential in games against Italy and Latvia. She was left out to dry multiple times. Poland has a star in Sass, they better take advantage of it. With that…

Why didn’t Sass Start

The game against Kazaksthan was the game was probably the game Poland had the best chance of winning. They started Kosinska. The 29-year-old had not started an international game since 2014-15. Why didn’t Sass start this game? Sass had to come in relief of  Kosinska. I do believe Poland would have won if Sass started.

Abandon The Slapper

The slapshot is becoming obsolete in hockey and its effectiveness continues to drop. Poland needs to drop the number of slap shots. On so many plays against Italy, they take a bunch, which were all are easily blocked.

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Poland needs to be more aware of the situation and take smarter shots.

Oh Captain My Captain 

Karolina Pozniewska is a captain for a reason. She had 4 points in 5 games, which lead Poland. She also had 24 shots, which is 8 shots more than the next highest player on Poland. Only player to have more than 1 goal. She leads this team on the ice.

Another Year Older 

This was a very young Poland team. They were the youngest team in the tournament by average age. With no relegation, Poland’s young players have some division 1 experience and should come back next year with better results. They lost to Italy, Latvia, and Kazakhstan by one goal. They were close games too, not poor performances. Their game against China was a poor performance that can’t be repeated. I expect them not to finish last next year.

Small Thoughts 

– Ivan Bednar, a Slovakian coach, had his first tournament as the head of the women’s team. This was also his first IIHF coaching job. He did alright there are some mistakes and some things I liked. I hope he returns.

– Not having veterans Bigos and Frackowiak was a tremendous hit

5 Thoughts Women’s 2018 U18s

Before we begin a huge thank you to @WsSportHilies, during the U18s they posted clips of every goal and score updates. I was having surgery during the tournament and missed seeing it live. Thanks to them I was able to stay updated on the tournament. Check them out on twitter.

The Best Brick Wall Impression Award

This one goes to Martyna Sass. Sass is, without doubt, the best female goalie in Poland. She lead Poland to a World Championship gold medal before she was 18. This tournament is just like her past performances; dominant. Sass was named the best goalie of the tournament. The future is safe for Poland in net with Sass. No doubt she’ll lead them to more gold.

It Didn’t Show on the Score Sheet

Gogoc had a great tournament for Poland. The captain would finish with one goal, but she played much better than that. Every time you just watch her and she’ll be making the right play. Along with great puck skills, she gives Poland the defensemen they have been needing.

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An Unstoppable Force

There is no one a defensemen wants to be one on one with less than Klaudia Kaleja. Kaleja is a dominant scorer who always finds her way to the net. This tournament she had 5 goals, which lead the tournament. She should make her senior national team debut this year and will be one to watch.

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STAY OUT OF THE BOX

I’ll make this quick because I rant about it too much. The more penalties you take the less chance you have of winning. Poland spent almost the entire 2nd period against France in the box. France would score all 3 of their goals on the power play in that game.

Women’s Hockey is on the Rise

It’s a great time for Women’s hockey in Poland right now the national team is the best it has ever looked. I’m not sure where my expectations should be for the World Championships, but they’re high. Should they be this high after a bronze medal and being in a tough division? Maybe not, but I’m feeling very optimistic.

Small Thoughts

Erik Karlsson is that you? Alicja Wcislo had 6 assist for Poland. Wcislo and Gogoc could be an amazing pair for Poland. Two great puck moving defensemen.

Malgorzata Synowiec had some bad luck. She put up 17 shots and had plenty of chances, but one goal.

Wiktoria Sikorska is 14. She had 5 points. Again the future is bright.