International Series: Team Italy - Junior Hockey News
Published: Monday, 11 Jun 2012
By: Matt Prosser
Milano, Italy - In life there
are things we can all count on that very rarely let us down. For example, if
you are lactose-intolerant then you can count on that glass of milk becoming
Satan-incarnate within your stomach. Well in the same way, year after year the
Federazione Italiana Sport del Ghiaccio sends a team to compete in Division I
play at the IIHF World U20 Junior Ice Hockey Championships. In fact, since the
tournament switched from a "Pool" structure back in 2001, the Italianos have
only been relegated to DII one time (2008). That stay didn't last long as they
swept the competition and jumped back up.
IIHF Record: 69-91-18
2012 Final Results: Division I Group B Third Place (3-2-0)
Head Coach: Fabio Polloni (ITA)
If you have watched any international sporting event with
any real focus, you've probably noticed that while Italy's flag waves Christmas
colors, their uni's are blue and white. Their hockey teams are no exception and
the reason for this is that it is the color of Savoia who was the ruling house
of the country for 85 years. In fact, until the end of World War II, the
Italian flag was crested with the Savoy coat of arms. In honor of their
history, Italians wear the color to this day.
With that said, we have pretty much just covered the most
fascinating part of this team. There has not been a great track record of
hockey in the country and the wars didn't help matters either. However, they
are perennially a high seeded team which not many countries can claim. In many
ways, it is like Americanized Italian restaurants: it may not be the best meal
you've ever had in your life but it's always going to be a solid choice (I say
this only about restaurants because I come from an Italian family with a
grandmother who makes the best gnocchi on this side of the pond).
This year we can pretty much expect the same results as the
last several years: Italy will play well but have a couple shakeups and stay in
DIIB for another year. If there is one thing we can say about the boot-shaped
country, it's that at least they are consistent.
Matt Prosser, Beat
Writer for JuniorHockey.com and host of the upcoming show: Junior Hockey
Central. Founder 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 questions, writing ventures, or
advertising/sponsorships for the show please e-mail Matt@Fifty8productions.com. Follow
on Twitter @MattProsser58 or
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