A year after falling out of the third highest World Championships event, Romania will find themselves back in Division IB for the 2016 tournament thanks to a perfect 4-0 record this past week.
In almost every division of the World Championships, the team that was most recently relegated from the year before tends to be one of the stronger teams in their new, lower division. Last year, the team missed many of it’s biggest stars, and while North Americans are accustomed to that with the main group, Romania doesn’t have as big of a pool to select from.
In a five game tournament, you don’t have time for any wiggle room. Romania was able to secure the gold medal just four games into the tournament, beating Serbia 8-4, Australia 5-1, Belgium 4-3 and finally Spain 7-1, taking home the medal after a one-sided contest.
There is a little cause for concern for next year, however.
“We have an aging team on paper and without mentioning any names there are players who have made their last appearances for the national team,” said Romania’s head coach Kjell Lindqvist to IIHF.com.
Whenever a team with a lot of experience starts to disband due to retirements, teams are forced to back track with some of their more inexperienced, younger players. That does, however, turn out to be better for the long term, but the team could be forced to face relegation again next year. Regardless, the team looks to be in good standing for the future, with hopes of sticking in Division IB for an extended stay on the horizon next year.
Romania’s final game is set for Sunday afternoon against Iceland, the tournament’s hosts. Australia is currently the favourites to earn demotion to Division IIB, as their two points will likely not help their cause.
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