The Biało-Czerwoni team will start their quest for the right to compete in the 2026 Olympics at the Sosnowiec venue this coming Thursday. The second part of the competition to secure a spot at the Cortina d’Ampezzo and Milan Olympics (where the hockey tournament will take place) will involve matches against the Estonians (Thursday, 16:30), Ukrainians (Friday, 20:15), and Koreans (Sunday, 20:15). The Asians were the team’s sparring partners, and their aim was to gain a psychological advantage over the opponents and demonstrate strength, which they achieved 100% in the first twenty minutes.
However, the selection of the goalkeeper is still a concern, with Tomáš Fučik of GKS Tychy waiting for the completion of formalities related to obtaining Polish citizenship. His appearance in the pre-qualifications is doubtful, as is the participation of the injured John Murray, the goalkeeper of the Katowice national champions. Nonetheless, David Zabolotny performed excellently in front of the Polish goal in crucial moments on Monday.
Health issues have ruled out Maciej Kruczek, Alan Łyszczarczyk, Arkadiusz Kostek, and Filip Starzyński from the Sosnowiec game, despite being key players in Poland’s promotion to hockey elite last year. However, even without them, the superiority of the Biało-Czerwoni was never in doubt. The tournament, especially the Ukrainians, will surely prove to be tough competition.