Hungarian Hockey Expands Focus
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12-08-2012, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Surrey, B.C.
The Patriot Game
BUDAPEST - Significant strides have been made in Hungarian men's ice hockey this decade, with the highlight so far being its senior national team playing in the top division of the IIHF World Championships in 2009. In order to try and raise the bar for next generations, the Hungarian federation are putting their hopes to the Molodezhnaya Khokkeinaya Liga (MHL).
Currently at number 19 in the men's world ranking, Hungary's senior national team will be hosting the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, Division I Group A in April next year. But with its U18 and U20 national teams competing at a lower level, a number of the country's prospects have been joining junior teams abroad to develop their skills. So when the opportunity arose to start up a MHL-team in Budapest, the Hungarian federation welcomed the initiative with open arms.
"We only had four covered ice rinks in 2002, and today we have 17, so our hockey is still very much on the developing side. For us, the MHL is a very special opportunity to step into the very highest level of junior hockey and we are very grateful for having been given this chance," said Zoltan Kovacs, General Secretary of the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation.
"Patriot Budapest is a long term project for us, that needs more time to attract more spectators and media coverage. For next season we hope for an improvement with hopefully more Hungarian players," said Kovacs.
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