The Winter Sports Palace in Sofia, Bulgaria, is a bit of a misnomer. It’s about as palatial as a shoebox with its ends kicked in and has the architectural allure of an oversized accordion. The arena actually occupies the lower part of the complex, underneath two nightclubs, and the architect could only have selected the building’s black, purple, beige, blue and baby-blue color scheme by throwing darts at a palette board while blindfolded.
It’s here that 117 no-name players from six afterthought hockey nations have gathered together for the 2019 IIHF World Championship Div. III, a couple weeks before the superstars take center stage at the top-rung worlds tournament in Slovakia. Promotional posters for the Div. III tourney, featuring a right-shooting Patrick Kane, list the teams: Bulgaria,...
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