Ukraine made its first appearance at the top level in 1994, less than five years after gaining independence from the Soviet Union. Ukraine went on to upset the United States, and Ukrainian goaltender Igor Karpenko went on to win top goaltender at the 1995 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. Since, there was no relegation round due to the restructuring of the format, Ukraine was no relegated, despite finishing 8th out of 8 teams. Ukraine was relegated to Pool B after finishing 10th in 1996. Four years later, Ukraine made it back to Pool A in 2000, and once again finished 10th. Despite, the relegation, Ukraine didn't lose a game by more than 7 goals. Ukraine earned promotion to top level for 2004 with a one-point differential over Japan, by defeating France 3-0 on the last day. Ukraine experienced troubles in Helsinki, Finland with equipment shortages (ea-sticks, tape), because the country was experiencing economic difficulties. Other teams participating donated sticks, tape, skate laces, and other pieces of equipment to the Ukrainian team. Despite, the generous donations from other teams, Ukraine did not hold up well in the tournament losing to the Czech-Republic (8-0); Switzerland (11-0; Canada (10-0); Finland (14-1). Ukraine went on to lose the relegation round to Sweden (4-0), and tie Austria (2-2). Ukraine has remained at the Division I level since then.