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History Of Ice Hockey In Greece

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Ice hockey began in Greece in 1984. It was started by players with Greek origin that came back to Greece from countries such as Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union, Canada and USA. Originally five teams were formed: two in Athens/Piraeus, Chalkida and Thessaloniki respectively. The first ever ice hockey game played in Greece was in 1985.

In 1989 the first Greek ice hockey championship was held. The games took place at the Peace and Friendhip Stadium. The stadium featured a regular size ice rink, and was used for hockey games until 2000. Five teams took part in the competition, with Aris Thessaloniki becoming the first Greek champion. Aris also won the championships in 1990 and 1991, before Iptamenoi Athens captured their first title in 1992. They repeated that feat in 1993. However in 1993 funding was cut by the Undersecretary of State for Sports. As a result Greek championships were not held again until 2000. By that time all the hockey games and practices were held in the Moschato Ice Rink, which unfortunately closed down in 2003.

The Greek championships were resurrected in 2008, with six teams taking part and Iptamenoi Athens claiming the title. Additional championships were held in 2009 (8 teams), 2010 (9 teams), 2011 (7 teams) and 2013 (11 teams). All were won by Iptamenoi Athens except in 2011, which was won by Aris Thessaloniki. Iptamenoi did not take part that year. 

The first Greek National Team was formed in 1990. It was a Junior national  team, which took part in the 1990 World Junior Championships, Pool C held in Yougoslavia. The same team also participated in the 1991 World Junior Championships in Italy.

The first Senior Greek National Team was formed in 1992. The team took part in the World Championships, Pool C held in South Africa, finishing in 3rd place. Due to financial problems, the national team did not play again until 1995, taking part in Pool C of the World Championships held once again in South Africa. In 1996 the national team took part in in Poold D  and Olympic Games qualifying campaigns held in Israel. Despite beating Israel twice (4:1 and 10:2), and destroying Turkey 19:0, all games were forfeited by IIHF, since the team used ineligible players.

The national team attended the 1998 and 1999 World Championships, but went on a long hiatus from international competition, because of a ban by the IIHF. The reason for the ban was the lack of proper size ice rink and lack of national championships in Greece. The ban was lifted in 2008, which allowed the national team to play in the 2008 and 2009 World Championships. In 2010 the World Championship Pool C was to be held in Greece at the new proposed ice rink in Nea Liosia. However that rink was never built, and the championships were switched to Luxembourg. It was there that produced the national team’s most successful tournament, by finishing in second place.

The national team took part in subsequent World Championships in 2012 (Turkey) and 2013 (South Africa), but at the end of 2013 was once again banned by IIHF from future World Championships until an Olympic size rink is built in Greece. This development pretty much slowed down the progress of Greek ice hockey, with the future being uncertain.

Greek Ice Hockey clubs throughout the years:

 

Iptamenoi Athens
Albatros Athens
Avantes Athens
Lefka Gerakia Mad Kows Athens
Tarandos Moschato
Warriors Athens
Ermis HC
PAOK Thessaloniki
Aris Thessaloniki
Iraklis Thessaloniki
Huskies Thessaloniki
Panserraikos Serres
PAS Piraeus
PAS Chalkida
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