Hungary edged Poland 2-1 to become the second team behind Kazakhstan to earn promotion to the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Russia. The team’s Saturday evening victory means that Hungary is back among the world’s sixteen top ice hockey teams. The match in Kraków was attended by thousands of Hungarian fans.
With the victory Hungary won the silver medals at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A in Krakow, host Poland has to settle for bronze.
It was a great team effort to stick together until the end. It’s unbelievable. It was a good job from the goalie to the defence to the forwards. Everybody worked for the same reason and finally we did it,” Hungarian forward Daniel Koger said.
“The good thing about this team is everybody goes for the team and that’s why we are successful. Right now we just want to feel this moment every second and celebrate with the guys.”
The Hungarians almost didn’t want to leave the ice. After the game and the medal ceremony they celebrated with the fans in the stands and sang the Hungarian national anthem one more time together.
“I’ve never won anything in my career, it’s my first time to celebrate like that on the ice,” recently naturalized forward Andrew Sarauer said.
“It was a tight game. We luckily got one in the third period. It was two good goaltenders. It was a game of inches and we managed to get out on top.”
For Hungary it will be the first time in seven years in the top division but finally the wait is over for the passionate Hungarian fans.
The Hungarian men’s national team participated almost consistently at World Championships and Olympic Games between 1928 and 1939 and afterwards qualified for a top-level event only three times, at the 1964 Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria, at the 2009 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Berne and Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland, and now for the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Moscow and St. Petersburg.