Israel played its first game during the 1997 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. They were placed in Pool D with the games being held in Sofia, Bulgaria. Israel's first game was against Estonia which they lost 12–3. The game is also recorded as Israel's largest ever loss. Within Pool D Israel was drawn into a preliminary group against Estonia, South Africa, and Yugoslavia. They finished the preliminary round in third place after managing to win their game against South Africa. Based on the positions in the preliminary round the teams were then drawn into placement games against the other preliminary group. Israel was drawn into the placement game for fifth place against the hosts Bulgaria. They won the game 7–3, which is also their largest ever win in international participation.