Slovenia is a young country. It was formed in 1991 and before that it was part of the former Yugoslavia. In the former Yugoslavia Slovenia was the
home of ice hockey. Slovenian teams and players were dominant in the
former Yugoslavian Hockey League. They also represented about 90% of the
former Yugoslavian national team (in all selections). In fact it is
probably easier to say that Slovenia was the former Yugoslavian national
The first hockey game in Slovenia was played in 1929 between Ilirija and Kamnik. The first international game was played in Ljubljana (the Slovenia's capital) in 1932, between Ilirija and an Austrian team, KAC
from Klagenfurt. Two years later Ilirija played the Romanian national
1990 was the year when Slovenian players played for the Yugoslavian national team for the last time. During this time the Yugoslavian national team won Pool C of the World Championships. A year later Slovenia became a sovereign country but was unable to compete in Pool B of 1991's World Championships because it was not yet a member of the IIHF. Slovenia was accepted into the IIHF on May 6th 1992.
Slovenia started out in pool C and made 2nd place in 1997. 1998 was an outstanding year for Slovenian Hockey; we won 2nd place in Pool B and made 3rd place in a qualifier for the 1999 IIHF Pool A World Championships. In 1999's Pool B, Slovenia took 5th place, and a year later they took 7th.
In Slovenia there are 957 registered players between 10 teams. Slovenia has six ice hockey arenas and one outside rink. Between 1991 and 1998 ice hockey was the top sport in Slovenia, but in just two years it fell from
1st down to 5th place. The Championship is no longer deemed
interesting. Throughout all these years (in the former Yugoslavia as
well) the play-off final has always been between HK Acroni Jesenice and HK
Olimpija! The main reason however is the lack of financial
support. Between 1991 and 1998 there was a lot of money around for
hockey. Olimpija and Acroni Jesenice iced good foreign and home players,
which made games interesting for the spectators (about 5000 per game), but
our mistake was allowing 6 foreign players to play in each
team. Consequently the young players were forgotten and lot of them left
the game. Some of the young players went to the USA or Canada and some of
the older players went to other European teams.
The upcoming season will be crucial for Slovenian hockey. The teams don´t have a lot of money so they'll be forced to play the younger players and
there'll be no more imports.
Olimpija, Jesenice, Bled, Triglav and Slavija are all teams with good young players and I hope that the upcoming season will be as more
interesting than the previous two.
HK ACRONI JESENICE (Jesenice):
the team with the longest and most
successful history of all Slovenian and former Yugoslavian ice hockey
clubs. With over 50 years of history they have won 28 national
championships and contributed around 50% of all national team players that
competed for the former Yugoslavia and now Slovenia. They're based in
Jesenice. They've played in the Continental Cup and Alpine League since
1991. This year they'll play in the IEL. They have 124 registered players.
HK OLIMPIJA (Ljubljana):
Last year's most successful Slovenian team in
home and international championships. They've won 6 Slovenian
championships and 8 national championships in the former Yugoslavia. They
contributed around 50% of all national team players that competed for the
former Yugoslavia and now Slovenia. They are based in Slovenia's capital,
Ljubljana. They've played in the Continental Cup and Alpine League since
1991. This year they'll play in the IEL. They have 197 registered players.
HK SLAVIJA MERCATOR OPTIMA (Ljubljana): They also come from Ljubljana and
are the only team in Slovenia to have an outside ice rink. They have 99
HK BLED (Bled):
They come from Bled and have 139 registered
players. Between 1991 and 1997 they played in the Alpine league.
HK TRIGLAV (Kranj):
They come from Kranj and have 118 registered players.
HK JESENICE (Jesenice):
The farm team of HK ACRONI JESENICE. They have 64
HK TIVOLI (Ljubljana):
The farm team of HK OLIMPIJA.
HK CELJE (Celje):
They come from Celje. The Club has a lot of financial
problems. They have 82 registered players.
HK MARIBOR (Maribor):
Last season's HK OLIMPIJA farm team, they now play
only in the junior leagues.
SLOVENIAN PLAYERS IN EUROPE
1. ANDREJ BRODNIK D IK OLOFSTROMS (Sweden)
2. ELVIS BESLAGIC D RATINGER ICE ALIENS (Germany)
3. LUKA SIMSIC G RATINGER ICE ALIENS (Germany)
4. IVO JAN F HERMES KOKKOLA (Finland) - probably
5. MIHA REBOLJ D HC SPARTA (Czech Republic)
6. GABER GLAVIC G not decided yet
7. NIK ZUPANCIC F not decided yet
SLOVENIAN PLAYERS IN USA AND CANADA
1. BLAZ EMERSIC F BORDER CITY BANDITS (USA - CHL)
2. MARCEL RODMAN F PETERBOROUGH PETES (CAN - OHL)
3. TOMAZ RAZINGAR F PEORIA RIVERMEN (USA - ECHL)
4. EDO TERGLAV F MONTREAL ROCKETS (CAN - QMJHL)
5. JURE PENKO G GREEN BAY GAMBLERS (USA - USHL)
6. PETER ROZIC F ARKANSAS RIVERBLADES (USA - ECHL)
7. DEJAN VARL F PHOENIX MUSTANGS (USA - WCHL)
8. ZIGA PETAC F NEWMARKET HURRICANES (CAN - OPJAHL)
9. MATIC KRALJ F SARNIA STEEPLEJACK BEES (CAN - WJBHL)
10. DAVOR DURAKOVIC D FLIN FLON BOMBERS (CAN - SJHL)
11. ALES DOLINAR F BOSTON COLLEGE (USA - NCAA)
12. GREGOR KRAJNC F MIAMI - OHIO (USA - NCAA)
13. KLEMEN KELGAR D LAKE SUPERIOR STATE (USA - NCAA)
14. BOSTJAN KOLARIC F BERKSHIRE (USA - Prep School League)
Waxus, Ljubljana, 19.07.2000
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