DONETSK, UKRAINE – Bismarck Bobcats forward Filip Starzynski is back in Europe for the majority of December, once again representing his native country with Team Poland in Division I, Group B at the 2013 World Junior Championships.
“It’s an honor to be able to be back with Team Poland and play for my country in the Ukraine,” stated Starzynski, whose team is battling to move up to Group A in Division I in Donetsk. “I learned a lot as a leader on last year’s team and we want to take the next step this year and move up.”
It is the 19-year-old’s final year of eligibility for Team Poland who, if they move up to Group A, would have a chance to win their way into the World Junior Championships’ main division that customarily features world hockey powers such as the United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden and Finland.
2013 marks the fifth straight season the Bobcats have sent a player to compete at the World Junior Championships: Nick Jensen for Team Denmark in 2009 and 2010, Nikolaj Rosenthal with Denmark in 2011 and Starzynski with Team Poland in 2012.
“As an organization and for each of us personally, we are just so proud of Filip to be able to go back to World Juniors and be a part of the most prestigious annual international hockey tournament there is,” beamed Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, whose team will be without the second-year forward’s services until after Christmas. “We’ll be missing him [in the lineup] for sure, but in junior hockey there’s no higher honor than playing in World Juniors so we don’t mind being without him for few weeks.”
Team Poland, who are in the middle of their pre-tournament exhibition schedule, open Group B play Monday at Ice Palace Druzhba in Donetsk with a 1:00 PM local time—4:00 AM Central Time—clash with Kazakhstan.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)