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International Series: Team Iceland - Junior Hockey News


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Published: Thursday, 8 Mar 2012
By: Matt Prosser

Reykjavik, Iceland - For those of you who have seen Disney's 1994 film "D2: The Mighty Ducks", forget everything you know about Team Iceland and the Iceland Ice Hockey Federation. While this team has had numerous appearances in IIHF World U20 Junior Ice Hockey Championships Division II, those periods have been short-lived which means they have never made it to the championships of any major IIHF tournament. Take a moment to gather yourself now that your Disney bubble has been popped, and in the meantime check out this quick snapshot of the Icelanders.

Team Iceland:

IIHF Record: 17-34-2

Division: II

Group: B

2012 Final Results: Division III First Place with 4-0-0 record (Promoted to Division II Group B)

Head Coach: Josh Gribben (CAN)

Aside from the fact that this team is not as established as most may think, there are some other fallacies of Iceland's hockey team you need to be aware of: 1. they do not wear black, blue, and white like the movie. Instead they wear blue, white, and red like their flag shows. 2. Instead of a stereotypical Viking head on the chest of their sweaters, they have a Gyrfalcon which is their National bird. 3. They don't have an experienced Icelandic coaching staff seeing as to how Icelanders haven't grown up with hockey until the last decade and a half. Instead their coach is Canadian.

Unfortunately for Team Iceland, they have been victimized by being portrayed to the Western world as villains when in actuality they simply don't deserve the shadow of their fictional counterparts. Iceland has made some amazing strides that have them on pace to steadily continue to grow. Just five years ago at the 2007 WJHC they were in Division II Group A with a chance to push for Division I. That year Iceland finished 0-5-0 which sent them back down to DIIB where they have been bouncing back and forth between it and DIII.

In a country where the National sport is handball, hockey has taken some time to be pushed to the forefront. However, with a men's team that is on the rise and women's team that is even better, the junior play is bound to rise up. Now, can they handle the likes of Estonia? Probably not considering Estonia has no business playing in this low of a grouping. But all Iceland needs to focus on is beating Belgium and Australia with a stretch goal of defeating Serbia. If they can do that, they will solidify their place in DIIB and continue to grow over the coming years.

For previous team articles, click the links below

Division IIIhttp://www.juniorhockey.com/news/news_detail.php?news_id=75142

Bulgaria: http://www.juniorhockey.com/news/news_detail.php?news_id=75132

New Zealand: http://www.juniorhockey.com/news/news_detail.php?news_id=75122

China: http://www.juniorhockey.com/news/news_detail.php?news_id=75097

Turkey: http://www.juniorhockey.com/news/news_detail.php?news_id=75086

Mexico: http://www.juniorhockey.com/news/news_detail.php?news_id=75075

Intro to 2013 WJHC: http://www.juniorhockey.com/news/news_detail.php?news_id=75064

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.






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