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Luxembourg

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Luxembourg
Flag of Luxembourg.svg
Continent Europe
Population 509,074
Registered players 392
Referees 34
Rinks 4
National teams Men's
Junior
National federation Luxembourg Ice Hockey Federation
IIHF since March 23, 1912
IIHF ranking 43
Top league Luxembourg Cup
Current champion Tornado Luxembourg


Luxembourg is a small country in Western Europe. Luxembourg City is the capital and largest city.

OverviewEdit

National TeamsEdit

Domestic TeamsEdit

See Category:Ice hockey teams in Luxembourg

ArenasEdit

See Category:Arenas in Luxembourg

CompetitionsEdit

Competition Founded Folded Notes
Luxembourg Championship 1978 2003 Defunct national league
Luxembourg Cup 1993 - National Cup competition

History of hockey in LuxembourgEdit

The Luxembourg Ice Hockey Federation was founded in 1912, and the country joined the IIHF on March 23 of the same year.[1] However, nothing happened on the hockey front for many years and the first ice hockey games were only played during the late 1960s.

The first team in Luxembourg, HC Beaufort, nicknamed "Canada Dry" had played for two years when they applied for participation in the Belgian competition for the 1971-72 season. This was granted by the Royal Belgian Ice Hockey Federation and Beaufort was placed in the third division. HC Beaufort lost their first game against CP Liège III 9-7. But they immediately avenged the loss in their second game by winning 13-6 against Brussels II. Beaufort's best effort came in a 7-3 win over HYC Herentals.

Luxembourg City played host to the 1969 Luxembourg Cup, won by the Tilburg Trappers. Luxembourg's most prominent visit was when the Detroit Red Wing's English farm team the London Lions played a couple of exhibition games there during the 1973-74 season.

The Luxembourg Championship was contested for the first time in 1978. Only two teams - Hiversport Luxembourg and Beaufort Echternach - competed for the first title, which was won by Hiversport. The two clubs merged to form a club by the name of HC Luxembourg due to financial difficulties in 1984.

Another club known as EC Eversborg was formed around this time, but poor relations between them and HC Luxembourg prevented matches being played regularly between the two sides. Between 1984 and 1986, HC Luxembourg played exhibition games against clubs from around Europe. Hiversport participated in the 1985 European Cup, getting trounced by the Dutch club Vissers Nijmegen by a combined score of 45-0 over two games (19-0 and 26-0), played in October 1984.

The club changed its name to Tornado Luxembourg for the 1986-87 season and joined the West German regional league, the Rheinland-Pfalz Liga. During the 1980s the heart and soul of Luxembourg hockey was their president Eric Vallancourt. He was not only the president but also a manager and a coach.

Tornado Luxembourg won all seven Luxembourg Championships contested between 1994 and 2003. The Luxembourg Cup was contested annually from 1994-2003, in those years, it included teams from both Luxembourg and other European nations. The Cup was also contested in the 2006-07, and has been held annually since the 2010-11 season, featuring teams from Luxembourg only. It has been won by Tornado Luxembourg nine times and Lokomotiv Luxembourg once. Tornado currently plays in the fourth-tier French league, the FFHG Division 3.

The national team made its international debut in 1992, playing in the C2 Pool of the World Championships.[2] They got trounced in the first game by South Africa 23-0. In the next game they played much better and lost only 9-5 to Greece. In the third game it was time for another big loss, 31-0 to Spain. Then they won their first ever international game by beating another newcomer, Turkey 10-5. In the last game they managed to get a 5-5 tie with Israel. The result was better than expected.

Luxembourg's goalie Mark Spautz had a 12.83 GAA and a 73,58 save % but played fairly well considering the fact that he faced a total of 212 shots in 5 games. 33-year-old right wing Tom Jungblut was voted as the best player on the team. He had 6 points (4+2) in 5 games. The scoring king on the team though was Gilbert Schuller who had 8 points (6+2) in 5 games. The third best scorer was Tom Jungblut's twin brother Pierre Jungblut who had 4 points (0+4) in 5 games. The team was coached by a Finn named Timo Tikkinen who played a couple of games in the Finnish league 1980-81.

After an eight year hiatus, Luxembourg returned to the international scene in 2000, playing in the D Pool of the World Championships. They have competed annually since 2002, exclusively in the lower pools. At the 2007 World Championships, Luxembourg finished third in Division III, narrowly missing out on promotion to Division II after being defeated 4–3 by hosts Ireland in overtime.

Some of the best players from Luxembourg of all time have been: Patrik Winandy, Tom Jungblut, Pierre Jungblut, Gilles Provost, Gilbert Schuller, Alain Schneider, Wolfgang Krause, David Kraus, Benny Hougrement, Ronny Scheier, Benny Welter, Robert Beran, Patrick Schon, Michel Welter, and Jose Almedy

The junior national team made its international debut in 2001, playing qualification games for the World U20 Championship Division III tournament. They lost to Iceland 6-2, and beat Ireland 10-0 for their first international win. Luxembourg participated in the 2003 World U20 Championship Division III tournament, losing all four games. The U18 team played in three tournaments from 1998-2000.

CreditsEdit

Special thanks to Patrick H. for supplying information on this country.

ReferencesEdit


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