Israel’s national ice hockey team struck gold at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division II Group B, which was a surprise considering that they entered the tournament in Izmit, Turkey as an unknown entity and the second-lowest ranked team.
The squad will move up to the top tier Group A following wins over China (6-3), Turkey (5-3), New Zealand (3-2) and Bulgaria (13-2).
“Overall we played really well and disciplined, and the first four games were extremely pleasant for me as a coach,” Israel’s head coach, Jean Perron, told the International Ice Hockey Federation’s official website. “When I talk about discipline I don’t only mean staying away from penalties, but also that the players are following the system that we are set to play. We upset China right from the start, we upset New Zealand, so we had a very successful ride. I wish we could have won the fifth game too, but overall we played extremely well.”
After finishing in 5th place in last year’s tournament, the team benefited from having Daniel Ehrlich, Oren Eizenman and Maxim Birbraer for the tournament. All three players were unavailable during last year’s World Championship. Ehrlich alone scored 11 points in the game against Bulgaria.