Sofia, Bulgaria - After years and years and even more years of beige performances, Team Bulgaria is coming back for more Division III action at the 2013 World U20 Junior Ice Hockey Championships. While the Bulgarian Ice Hockey Federation has been around longer than most junior coaches have been alive, this team has only been promoted one time and took last place the following year (1986). Before we move deeper into the country, let's check out the specifics first.
IIHF Record: 32-86-5
2012 Final Results: Division III Fourth Place with 1-3-0 record
Head Coach: Plamen Veselinov (BUL)
Maybe the years of Ottoman oppression is the cause of the past 30 years of disappointing hockey from the Bulgarians. However, maybe the times are changing for the red, white, and green as they took 4th place in DIII play last year: tied for their highest rank in almost a decade.
In the 2012 WJHC, Bulgaria was only fortunate enough to defeat the worst team at the tournament, Turkey (4-0). Other than that, it was yet another horrible showing as they dropped games to China (6-2), New Zealand (3-1), and Iceland (10-0).
While the team itself played horribly, goalie Petrov Radosvet played extremely well given the circumstances. He faced 111 shots on goal and turned aside all but ten of them, clearly outshining backup Nikolov Nikola who allowed 8 goals on just 44 attempts. If Bulgaria has any hope of making a serious push for Division II Group B this year, they will need another outstanding showing by their starting goaltender as they just seem to annually lack in the scoring department
For previous team articles, click the links below
New Zealand: http://www.juniorhockey.com/news/news_detail.php?news_id=75122
Matt Prosser, Featured Writer for JuniorHockey.com. Owner of Fifty8 Productions and freelance writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. Voice of California State University, Sacramento Hockey and host of The Sports Cycle with Matt Prosser on KSSU1580 Sacramento. For comments and writing ventures e-mail Matt@Fifty8productions.com. Follow on Twitter @MattProsser58 or visit www.kssusportsycle.com.