Georgia men's national ice hockey team
The coat of arms of Georgia is the badge used on the players jerseys.
|Association||Georgian Ice Hockey National Federation|
|Head coach||Roland Svanidze|
|Most games||Amiran Geperidze (27)|
|Most points||Artyom Kozyulin (43)|
|Current IIHF||39 1 (26 May 2019)|
|Highest IIHF||39 (2019)|
|Lowest IIHF||48 (2013)|
|South Africa 8–1 Georgia|
(Yerevan, Armenia; 12 April 2010)
|Georgia 19–0 United Arab Emirates|
(Sofia, Bulgaria; 13 April 2017)
|Armenia 22–1 Georgia|
(Yerevan, Armenia; 12 April 2010)
North Korea 22–1 Georgia
(Kockelscheuer, Luxembourg; 6 April 2014)
|IIHF World Championships|
|Appearances||6 (first in 2013)|
|Best result||38th (2019)|
|International record (W–L–T)|
The Georgian men's national ice hockey team (Georgian: საქართველოს ეროვნული ყინულის ჰოკეის ნაკრები) is the national men's ice hockey team of Georgia, and a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) since 8 May 2009. As of May 2018, Georgia is ranked 40th in the World Ranking. Georgia first played in the World Championships tournament in 2013, and remained at Division III level until winning at that level in 2018 and earning a promotion to Division II Group B.
Though ice hockey was first introduced to Georgia in the 1960s, the sport was never very popular and there were long stretches when it was not played at all. In 2004 the Georgian Ice Hockey Federation was established, and a domestic league began in 2007, allowing for the development of the national team and its entry into international competition in 2010, playing their first competitive matches in 2012.
Ice hockey was introduced in Georgia in the 1960s, part of a Soviet policy to introduce winter sports across the country. A trainer from Moscow, Valentin Zakharov, was sent to Georgia to train youth in the sport. As Tbilisi, the capital, had no rink, most of the initial exercises involved dry-land training. As the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, Georgia played its first game in 1962 during the Winter Spartakiad which was held in Sverdlovsk, Soviet Union. Georgia played seven games, winning their matches against the Kirghiz SSR and the Armenian SSR, while losing the remaining games to the Lithuanian SSR twice, the Kazakh SSR, the Estonian SSR and the Latvian SSR.
Zakharov left Georgia in 1966, and hockey effectively ended in Georgia. It was revived in 1978 by one of Zakharov's students, Nodar Donadze, who established a club in Tbilisi. This saw some further developments, with one player, goaltender Kote Bakhutashvili, invited to join the youth development team of CSKA Moscow, the dominant team in the Soviet league, in the late 1980s; however it was ultimately ended in 1987. As ice hockey was not popular in Georgia, an ice rink built in Tbilisi was demolished in the post-Soviet era.
Two students of Donadze, Denis Davidov and Lasha Tsagareishvili, established the Georgian Ice Hockey Federation in 2004. A national league was started in 2007. In 2009 Georgia joined the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) as an associate member. Shortly after being accepted into the IIHF both Davidov and Tsagareishvili, along with four others (including the president of the Ice Hockey Federation of Armenia) were killed in a car accident in Turkey, forcing the Georgian Ice Hockey Federation to delay plans to start a national team.
Georgia first played an international match in 2010, when they travelled to Yerevan, Armenia, which was hosting the 2010 Division III World Championship. They played exhibition games against South Africa and Armenia, losing 8–1 and 22–1, respectively. Georgia made their debut in the World Championship in 2012, playing in the 2013 Division III Qualification tournament held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. They lost all three games, being outscored 28 goals to one (Gocha Jeiranashvili scored the lone goal, Georgia's first in IIHF play, in the final game against the United Arab Emirates), and failed to qualify for the Division III tournament. The following year Georgia was placed in Division III, as several teams did not participate. They scored three goals and gave up seventy-eight in the five games, all losses. The 2015 Division III tournament saw Georgia record their first win, against Bosnia and Herzegovina, followed by an overtime victory against the United Arab Emirates. The fourth-place finish was considered a great success, and credited to new players: Vitali Dumbadze and Dimitri Smetanin scored 17 of Georgia's 20 goals, while Andrei Ilienko was named the top goaltender of the tournament.
In October 2015 Georgia participated in the first game of the 2018 Winter Olympic qualification tournament, against Bulgaria, losing the match 9–1. Funding from the Georgian government came for the first time in 2015; prior to that the players and management had to pay all expenses. In the 2016 Division III tournament, they finished second after winning four games out of five, only losing to Turkey 5–4, and having the tournament's leading scorer, Boris Kochkin (who had 10 goals and 9 assists). However, all their matches were later nullified and the results recorded as 5–0 forfeits due to Georgia's use of ineligible players. At the 2017 Division III tournament they placed third, winning three of their five games. Five Georgians placed in the top ten scorers, including Artem Kozyulin in first with 25 points (13 goals and 12 assists), while Artem Kurbatov was named the tournament's best defeceman. In the 2018 Division III tournament, they finished first after winning four games out of five, losing one game to South Africa 4–2. Five of the top ten scorers in the tournament were from the Georgian team, including Aleksandr Zhuzhunashvili, who led the tournament in goals (10), assists (9), and points (19), and was named the best forward. For the first time, Georgia earned promotion to Division IIB for 2019. The result was attributed to a policy of naturalization: three of the top five scorers had Russian or Ukrainian surnames, while all five learned hockey outside of Georgia. The result had Georgia place 40th in the IIHF World Ranking, their highest spot to date.
World Championship record
|2013||Abu Dhabi||48th place
(4th in Division IIIQ)
(6th in Division III)
(5th in Division III)
|2016||Istanbul||Disqualified from tournament|
(All games marked as 5–0 forfeits)
(3rd in Division III)
|2018||Cape Town||41st place
(1st in Division III)
|2019||Mexico City||38th place
(4th in Division II B)
All-time record against other nations
Updated 28 April 2019
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||3||2||0||1||18||8|
|United Arab Emirates||3||1||0||2||7||19|
Head coach: Roland Svanidze
|1||GK||Kakha Ambrolava||1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)||65 kg (143 lb)||21 March 1993||Mimino Bakuriani|
|2||F||Semen Kharizov||1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)||91 kg (201 lb)||19 August 1993||Mimino Bakuriani|
|3||D||Giorgi Jeiranashvili||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)||95 kg (209 lb)||16 December 1991||Mimino Bakuriani|
|5||F||Zaza Gongadze||1.72 m (5 ft 8 in)||80 kg (180 lb)||4 February 1996||Mimino Bakuriani|
|6||D||Artem Kurbatov||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)||84 kg (185 lb)||11 April 1994||Firey Crusaders Tbilisi|
|7||F||Vitali Dumbadze||1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)||85 kg (187 lb)||11 January 1991||Firey Crusaders Tbilisi|
|10||F||Aleksandr Zhuzhunashvili||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)||71 kg (157 lb)||5 December 1995||Mimino Bakuriani|
|12||D||Davit Minasiani||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)||70 kg (150 lb)||14 July 1992||Mimino Bakuriani|
|13||F||Alexander Vasilchenko||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)||87 kg (192 lb)||6 October 1991||Mimino Bakuriani|
|14||F||Boris Kochkin||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)||79 kg (174 lb)||6 October 1991||Grey Wolves Tbilisi|
|15||F||Temuri Vedyapin||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)||95 kg (209 lb)||6 October 1991||Grey Wolves Tbilisi|
|16||F||Oliver Obolgogiani||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)||77 kg (170 lb)||27 July 1990||Grey Wolves Tbilisi|
|17||F||Ivan Shvetsov||1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)||85 kg (187 lb)||6 March 1992||Mimino Bakuriani|
|18||D||Revaz Tsomaia||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)||88 kg (194 lb)||9 June 1980||Grey Wolves Tbilisi|
|19||F||Artem Kozyulin||1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)||69 kg (152 lb)||22 February 1996||Grey Wolves Tbilisi|
|20||GK||Andrey Ilienko||1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)||70 kg (150 lb)||16 August 1994||Firey Crusaders Tbilisi|
|22||F||Davit Oganeziani||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)||95 kg (209 lb)||9 May 1997||Mimino Bakuriani|
|23||D||Mikheil Davitashvili||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)||95 kg (209 lb)||19 October 1991||Grey Wolves Tbilisi|
|24||F||Mikhail Shalunov||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)||75 kg (165 lb)||24 February 1999||Grey Wolves Tbilisi|
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- "Georgia All Time Results" (PDF). National Teams of Ice Hockey. Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- Jardine, Bradley; Hauer, Neil (25 September 2018). "How one Georgian family built a national ice hockey league". Eurasianet.org. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- Bulkin, Leonid (27 December 2006). "Хоккей по-грузински (Georgian hockey)" (in Russian). Gazeta.ru. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- "Georgia". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
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- Merk, Martin (17 October 2012). "UAE, Greece advance". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- Gerber, Daniel (13 April 2014). "Bulgaria steps up". IIHF.com. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
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- Manninen, Henrik (13 April 2015). "DPR Korea steps up". IIHF.com. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Tchechankov, Ivan (11 October 2015). "Bulgaria advances". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- Manninen, Henrik (7 April 2016). "Second time lucky". IIHF.com. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
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- "2017 IIHF World Championship Division III – Scoring Leaders" (PDF). IIHF.com. 16 April 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "2017 IIHF World Championship Division III – Best Players Selected by the Directorate" (PDF). IIHF.com. 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "2018 IIHF World Championship Division III – Scoring Leaders" (PDF). IIHF.com. 22 April 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "2018 IIHF World Championship Division III – Best Players Selected by the Directorate" (PDF). IIHF.com. 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Potts, Andy (24 April 2018). "Georgia's joy". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- "2018 (May) IIHF World Ranking". IIHF.com. May 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "2013 Division III Qualification Round Robin" (PDF). IIHF.com. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "2014 Division III Round Robin" (PDF). IIHF.com. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "2015 Division III Round Robin" (PDF). IIHF.com. 12 April 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "2017 Division III Round Robin" (PDF). IIHF.com. 16 April 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "2018 Division III Round Robin" (PDF). IIHF.com. 22 April 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "2019 IIHF World Championship roster – Georgia" (PDF). IIHF.com. 21 April 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2019.