After a long silence, Denmark’s hockey team finally made a big buzz in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) tournament that kicked off over the weekend in Cologne, Germany. This after the team became victorious in two games against the U.S. and Finland known to be often dominating the sport. The historic wins now guarantee Denmark a chance to compete in the qualification round and hopefully into the world championships.
What makes the two wins a remarkable achievement is that the Danish team won them during the opening of the tournament and not even a day after. For this recent victory, the competing teams were impressed and amazed. Even the general manager of the U.S. team had to admit that the Danes indeed played two very strong games.
In Denmark, soccer or football and handball are more popular than hockey as a team sport. This is despite the fact that the professional hockey league there has been in existence since 1954. But with the Danes’ recent victory, things may just change for the better and more boys will hopefully develop an interest to this ice sport.
Denmark now ranks 13th in the world. It re-established its presence in the IIHF main pool in 2003 after 54 years of absence. An official of the Danish team says there are more than 4,000 hockey players in the country today but they’re not foreseeing an increase due to the lack of infrastructure for winter sports. Contrary to what many foreigners perceive Denmark, snow in the country lasts only for about two to three weeks and not for several months each year. In fact, the country did not do so well in hockey during the Winter Olympics.
Currently, hockey is dominated by the so called six superpowers — Canada, the U.S., Russia, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic. The secondary powers are Germany, Belarus, Latvia, Slovakia and Switzerland.