Almost 80% of the players on Romania’s national ice hockey team is actually Hungarian. The team is participating at the Baltic Challenge Cup in Estonia between November 7 and 10.
There is a break in the European ice hockey championships that lasts for about 1.5 weeks, and so the national teams take over for this period. This is also the situation in the Erste Liga and the Romanian championships too.
The Hungarian national team is playing in Gdansk, Poland, while Romania’s national team is playing in Tallinn, Estonia, at the Baltic Challenge Cup. Head coach Julius Pénzes didn’t take his strongest team, but it is not a big surprise given that this is a preparation tournament. Still, the core of the team – as usual – consists of athletes from Szeklerland, and out of the 22 players, 20 play in the three Erste Liga teams of Brassói Corona, Csíkszeredai Sportklub, and Gyergyói Hoki Klub.
The team gathered on Wednesday morning in Csíkszereda/Miercurea Ciuc, from where the players traveled to Tallinn. The Cup is starting today, and six teams will play in the tournament in two groups. Ukraine, Estonia, and Lithuania is in group A, while Romania, Latvia’s B team, and Kazakhstan’s U20 team is in group B. Romania’s national team will first play against Latvia’s B team on Friday then against Kazakhstan’s U20 on Saturday. Then on the last day of the tournament, teams from both groups will play against each other for places 1-3.
Julius Pénzes considers this tournament to be a preparation for the Olympic Pre-Qualification Round 2, which will take place in Brassó/Brasov between December 12 and 15. The team will then face Iceland, Israel, and the winner of the pre-qualification’s first round.
Romania’s national ice hockey team for the Baltic Challenge Cup:
Goalkeepers: Örs Adorján (Csíkszeredai Sportklub), Patrik Polc (Brassói Corona).
Defensemen: Tamás Farkas, Alpár Salló, Hugó Gecse, Tihamér Györfy (all from Csíkszeredai Sportklub), Attila Góga, Zsolt Kozma, Róbert Ferencz-Csibi (all from Gyergyói Hoki Klub), Tamás Gajdó (Brassói Corona).
Forwards: Szilárd Rokaly, Eduard Căsăneanu, Csanád Fodor (all from Csíkszeredai Sportklub), Kiricsenko Vitalij, Butucsnov Anton (all from Galaci CSM), Balázs Péter, Gliga Roberto, Balázs Gajdó, Zsombor Molnár (all from Brassói Corona), Constantin Mircea, Zsolt Péter, Hunor Csergő (all from Gyergyói Hoki Klub).
Title image: In May 2019, Romania’s national team celebrates winning the gold medal in the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B in Tallinn, Estonia, and by doing this also winning a place in next year´s Division I Group A. (Photo: Hendrik Soots/iihf.com)