Romania took third in the IIHF Women’s World Championship Division III, organized in Sofia, Bulgaria, between December 4-10. This result is especially precious if we’re taking into consideration the fact that these girls play ice hockey as amateurs besides school or work.
In the 2019/2020 season, for example, there was not even a single match organized in the Romanian women’s championship, and they didn’t have any preparation game either. They only participated at two 3-day-long joint training sessions together before the World Championship. And even despite such circumstances, Romania’s national team was able to beat the South-African national team – who won the championship – in the opening game of the tournament on December 4. This was followed by another two victories against Hong-Kong and Lithuania and then an overtime loss against the home team of Bulgaria.
But Tuesday evening, at the closing game of the championship, the team’s lack of game-time experience was visible, and the girls couldn’t match the Belgian team, which played both more effectively and at a faster pace. This meant, that with three wins, two losses and thus 9 collected points, the basically amateur team won the bronze medal.
Looking at the whole tournament, Romania won against South-Africa (11-4) and Lithuania (4-2) and Hong-Kong (2-1, after overtime) and lost against Bulgaria (3-4 after over time) and Belgium (2-4).
Another interesting fact is that Romania’s women’s national ice hockey team – similar to the men’s national team – consists mostly of Hungarians. While in the men’s national team, almost 80% of the players are Szekler-Hungarians, in the women’s team, this ratio is almost 70%.
Romania’s women’s national ice hockey team at the IIHF Women’s World Championship Division III:
Goalkeepers: Anett Andrea Kurkó (Csíkszeredai Sportklub) and Nadina Maria Niciu (Gyergyói Fox SK)
Defense: Ágota Barta, Katalin Adorján (both from Csíkszeredai Sportklub); Krisztina Antal, Blanka Máthé, Katalin Csilla Szopos, Eszter Beatrix György (all from Gyergyói Fox SK); Luana Maria Bădoiu (Triumf Bucuresti), Adela Sârbu (Steaua Rangers Bucuresti)
Forwards: Ana Voicu, Iris Sonia David, Zsuzsanna Laczkó-Szabó, Csenge Koncz, Orsolya Sütő, Ágnes Elekes (all from Gyergyói Fox SK), Magdolna Popescu, Szabina Onodi, Hanga Bálint (all from Csíkszeredai Sportklub), Alina Oprea, Caryellen Pandea–Bedrosian (both from Triumf Bucuresti), Tímea Csiszer (Budapesti MAC).
Head coach: George Pogăcean
Assistant coach: Béla Nagy
Title image: Romania’s women’s national ice hockey team in Sofia. Head coach George Pogăcean on the far left and assistant coach Béla Nagy on the far right of the picture. (Photo: Romanian Ice Hockey Federation)