As many of you know, the World Championships – Div. III just wrapped up in Luxembourg. After some research I have found some pictures of the teams participating this year. Mind you, not all of these pictures are of the jerseys the teams might currently be wearing (do you know how hard it is to find a picture of a Div. III World Championship game?). So I present to you, my first Sweater Look into the World Championships – Division III.
We shall start with the winners, North Korea, ranked 44th by the IIHF, with a 5-0-0 record for 15 points. The sweaters are simple, which is a plus. Plus they don’t have any corporate logos visible on the sweater, not even a single Nike Swoosh. I would usually champion this kind of logo free sweater, but I am weary in this case. I don’t think it has anything to do with purifying the game, but with the communist way.
The Republic of South Africa, ranked 41st by the IIHF, is next, finishing 4-1-1 for 12 points. Of course we all know the most famous South African ice hockey player, plays for Germany, which I still can’t figure out. But I have found this picture of a couple of players sucking oxygen in Mexico City, which would be from 2005. I would imagine the sweaters look the same as those used in 2005. But along my travels I also found this and this.
The hosts, Luxembourg, ranked 42nd in the world, came in a respectable third at 3-2-0, with 2 wins coming in overtime for only 2 points instead of 3 for a win in regulation, for 7 points. You’d think it would be easy to find a sweater of a team hosting a IIHF event. Not so. This was the only picture I could find showing the sweater alone. I am not sure what year it is from, but based on blurry pictures that I have found from their games last year and one this year, I am pretty confident they were a version like that one. I think its pretty cool, especially the flames. But what do flames have to do with Luxembourg?
Turkey, ranked 40th by the IIHF, tied Luxembourg for 3rd place in points with 7 at 2-3-1, that is 2 wins, 3 points each, and one over time loss, 1 point. Here is an action shot of the Turkish team in action. I like how the flag has been adopted to the sweater and it seems to make a good transition. But will the crescent moon and star cause the same controversy the Milan Cross did? I don’t think so.
Greece, not ranked in 2007, came in 5th with a 1-3-1 record for 4 points. After starting up in the mid-80s, Greek Ice took a hit when the last of the few ice rinks in the country closed in the late 90’s early 2000s. Because of the rink closure, Greece could no longer take part in IIHF sanctioned events, meaning the World Championships. But in 2005 the new political regime offered some hope and finally agreed to build a rink. And now here are the Greeks in their first international tournament since 1999. I like their sweaters the best out of them all. The shade of blue and white go together perfectly with the simple template.
Finally Mongolia, ranked last at 46th in the world, finished in last with a 0-0-5 record, no points and a goal differential of -48. It was a task to find a Mongolian sweater, since they are relatively new to competition, but I found this one. Nothing special, the Mongolian Ice Hockey Federation logo is used as the crest. One odd thing is that “Mongolia” is written in English instead of Mongolian. And wouldn’t it be sweet if they wrote it out as MonGOALia instead?
Look out for other Sweater Looks when other international or league competitions come up.