U20 World Championships Information

The IIHF Group 1 A and B World Championships began in Tychy Poland yesterday and will begin in Fussen Germany today.

Tychy has been a great venue thus far, and the hosts have been gracious and well prepared for the event.  Scouts from the Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs and Central Scouting Services were all on hand to watch three very competitive games.

The game of the day cam between host country Poland and their cross border rival Ukraine.

The pace of the game very high, and this was clearly a match of two teams playing for National pride against close rivals.  Breaking with stereotypes this game was very physical from beginning to end and the intensity was evident from both sides.

The Ukraine were lead by USPHL Premier player Artem Mateyehenko who plays for the South Shore Kings and is Captain for Ukraine.  Mateyehenko was exceptional in his aggressive play around the puck and on the backcheck.  Winning Player of the Game for Ukraine in a losing effort.

The Ukraine team has 8 players on its roster currently playing in North America.  6 from the USPHL, 1 from the QMJHL, and 1 from the WSHL.

Poland, the winning side today, played very strong and physical.  Of note, every player on the Polish team is currently playing and rostered in Poland playing for their respective clubs.

Goaltender Sebastian Lipinski made the saves he needed to make and a few that he shouldn’t have made in order to preserve the win for Poland.  Lipinski is also taking home Player of the Game honors.

With the 4 to 2 victory, it would appear that Poland would now be the favorite in this tournament.  The strongest competition ahead would look to be Slovenia who beat Italy 3 to 0 yesterday, or Hugary who beat Japan 3 to 1 on three early goals.

Stay tuned for more U20 World Championship Updates from Germany and Poland as the tournament moves forward.