The Poles, for whatever reason, just haven’t been able to up their game and become a hockey powerhouse. I don’t know why – it can get cold and snowy in those parts during winter so skating and shooting should be a given.
You would think, anyway.
But there just doesn’t seem to be much going on in the way of hockey madness in Poland, and their national team is ranked way down around 21st. (I will say this, though - I was friends with a Polish couple in Calgary and the wife was one of the most beautiful creatures I’ve ever seen. So the hockey might not be fantastic but some of the women are).
Poland did have one big moment of glory though, when they beat the powerhouse Soviets 6-4 in the 1976 World Championships. And yes, the Soviets in this game boasted Kharlamov, Mikhailov, Yakushev and all those others who gave the Canadians fits back then. It’s just weird, and you can read about this shocker right here - Poles Stun Soviets, if you’re not too busy swimming or playing croquet.
There’s also been several Poles who made it to the bigs, including Krzysztof Oliwa, Peter Sidorkiewicz, Woitek Wolski, and Mariusz Czerkawski, who saw less-than-memorable action as a Hab during the 2002-03 season.
Maybe it’s a good thing there’s not a lot of them, especially on the Habs. It would be an ongoing headache trying to spell their names.
Below, the Polish National squad takes on the New Westminster Royals of the old Pacific Coast Junior League in December of 1966. How they made out, I’ve no idea.