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03-30-2008, 11:43 AM
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Hungarian Hockey Expands Focus

Hungarian Hockey Expands Focus


BUDAPEST – For many years, Hungarian ice hockey has stood at the doorway of increasing its prestige in the international hockey community. Currently ranked 21st in the world by the IIHF, Hungary has often watched in frustration as several lower-ranked nations have gained on its program while the Hungarians have been unable to close the gap between themselves and rivals ranked several spots higher.

Among outsiders, there are often two associated with Hungarian hockey. On the positive end, goaltender Levente Szuper represents the potential for Hungary to produce talent that is able to compete at the sport’s higher levels.

Budapest native Szuper was the first (and so far only) Hungarian-born and trained player ever to earn a spot on a National Hockey League game-day roster. While he never got to play in a game, the now 27-year-old netminder served as a backup goaltender for the Calgary Flames in nine games during the 2002-03 season. Last year, he and Alba Volan keeper Krisztian Budai provided second-place Hungary with some the top goaltending seen at the 2007 IIHF World Championship Division I Group B tournament....

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