added: 2010-07-16 15:47:55

History

Cracovia have won the league championship twelve times – once before the war (1937), four times in the immediate post-war years (1946, 1947, 1048, 1949) and six times in the 21st century (2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017). In 2010 and 2012 they added silver medals to their collection.

The first pieces of information on hockey in Cracow say that on the 4th of February 1912 at an ice rink in Jordan's Garden, Cracovia lost 7-5 to Amatorski Klub Hockeyowy from Cracow. But it was a dozen or so years later when the hockey team really emerged. Starting with 1923 it was coached by Józef Lustgarten and consisted of Jan III Sobieski High School students. The first official game was played on the 17th of February 1924 when Cracovia won 1-0 to AZS. Jerzy Szaflarski, Józef Szaflarski, Adam Lachowicz, Antoni Michalak, Stanisław Myszkowski, Michał Pazdanowski, Zdzisiaw Ziętkiewicz and Wiktor Luster are amongst the most popular pioneers of hockey at Cracovia. Pasy had their first major success in 1926 when they won an unofficial Cracow Championship, beating Jutrzenka 4-1 and Makkabi 3-0.

On the 23rd of November our hockey team became a member of the Polish Ice Hockey Federation (PZHL). Cracovia's dominance in their district before the war is indisputable. Pasy won the competition nine times. They came first in the region which gave them the possibility of fighting for the Championship of Poland. The first competition of this kind was played in the 1926-27 season. Cracovia lost 3-0 to Pogoń Lwów and 6-0 to Klub Łyżwiarski Poznań and finished fifth. Two Pasy players – Czesław Marchewczyk and Adam "Roch" Kowalski were a part of Poland's national team during Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid in 1932. The same year Pasy got their first rink and two years later they won an international tournament in Krynica, competing against many high-ranked clubs.

Then came the 1936-27 season. Cracovia won the regional championship defeating Sokół 8-1, Wawel 16-0 and Makabbi 18-0, and not losing even one point. They were also triumphant in a two-legged qualifier game against Pogoń Lwów (3-1, 6-2) and in the national finals as after losing against AZS Warszawa 1-0, drawing with Czarni Lwów 2-2 and winning against KTH Krynica 2-0, Warszawianka 1-0 and AZS Poznań 5-0, Cracovia won its first ever championship title!

From 1924 till the end of the 1938-39 season the first team played 191 games, winning 113, drawing 26, and losing 52. The statistics were equally impressive in the games against international rivals: 24 games, 11 wins, 3 draws, 10 defeats.

The first post-war league competition was played in 1946. Cracovia earned qualification to the final round coming first in the region (defeating Wisła 7-1 and Legia 25-0). After having won all of the matches in the finals (5-1 with ŁKS, 3-0 with Siła Giszowiec and 4-0 with Lechia Poznań) they won the championship.

In the next campaign (1946-47) Wisła joined the run for the title, after having collected strong squad with players from Lviv clubs at its core. In the finals Cracovia defeat Lechia Poznań 6-2 and ŁKS 4-0 but lost 3-2 to Wisła. As the two teams shared the same number of points an additional game had to be set up. It was won by Pasy 4-3.

In 1948 M. Burda, M. Kasprzycki, A. Kowalski, J. Maciejko, Cz. Marchewczyk and M. Więcek played in the Winter Olympics in St. Moritz. The spring came earlier that year making it impossible to continue with the league matches. In this case PZHL decided that Cracovia would be named the Champion of Poland. A year later – in 1949 – Pasy won the title again.

Lean years. The new generation of white and red striped shirts was left with big shoes to fill and did not live up to the expectations. As the sport clubs were reorganized the Soviet way, the teams played only in the Sports Association Championship. With the return of the regular competition Cracovia played in the second division and in the 1954-55 season were relegated to the voivodeship level.

In the 1956-57 campaign Cracovia played in the second division and two years later in the first one. Unfortunately, they did not stay long in the top division as the 8th place could only mean yet another relegation. The club returned to Ekstraklasa in 1965 but only for a year.

In the following years Cracovia were one of the top teams in the second division but only managed to earn promotion in 1977. However, the team came ninth and in the next season played in the lower division.

It was already a hard time but got even harder. The ice rink repair made it necessary to hold trainings and matches in Nowy Targ. In the 1980-81 season the financial problems were at their peak and experts did not give our team any chance of even coming close to being promoted. Nevertheless, the reality turned out to be quote different – after a hard-fought battle Cracovia came in third and were promoted to the first division!

Cracovia did good in the 1984-85 season finishing sixth (behind Zagłębie, Polonia, Podhale, Naprzód, GKS Tychy, and ahead of Stoczniowiec, ŁKS, GKS Katowice and Unia Oświęcim). Without any doubt, it was our biggest success since 1950. Two Pasy players, Roman Steblecki i Bogdan Pawlik, played for Poland's national team. But in the next years Cracovia struggled with many problems and it seemed that our hockey team belongs to the past. It was then that thanks to a sponsor Comarch the team was brought back to life. In 2003 Pasy returned to the first division and in 2005 won a bronze medal.

We had a strong team that was built consistently which produced great results in the 2005-06 season. Comarch Cracovia was undeniably the best team and for the sixth time won the title, defeating GKS Tychy in exhilarating finals. This grand success was a great way of celebrating Cracovia's 100 year anniversary. In 2008 Pasy came first again and the next season ended in glory for Cracovia as well. In the two finals Cracovia competed against GKS Tychy.

In 2009-10 our players qualified again to the finals but lost to Wojas Podhale Nowy Targ. Four matches were enough for Szarotki to ensure that they were going to be the winners, and Rudolf Rohacek's team had to settle for a silver medal.

Pasy played in the final again in the 2010-11 season. At first they easily defeated Zagłębie Sosnowiec, winning 5-0, 10-1 and 10-2. In the semi-final Cracovia played against JKH GKS Jastrzębie. We won the first game 9-1 but lost in Jastrzębie 2-1. Then there were two Cracovia victories, 2-1 and 6-1. In the decisive battle Cracovia faced GKS Tychy, we won three games losing only once and therefore we could celebrate winning our ninth title!

In 2011-12 Cracovia were experiencing quite a few problems but still managed to qualify for the playoffs finishing second in the regular season (behind Ciarko PBS Bank Sanok). In the semi-final we were pitted against Aksam Unia Oświęcim. It was supposed to be a fierce battle for the final qualification but Cracovia needed only four games to win over Unia. Then came the final against Ciarko. Pasy lost the first match 3-2 in extra time. We won the first home game 5-2 but were defeated 3-2 in the second, even though we were winning 2-1. Ciarko won the next games in Sanok and won the title.

In the 2012-13 season Comarch Cracovia were not considered a favourite to win the league title finishing fourth in the regular season. In the play-off phase they rose to the occasion showing that they really deserved all of the recently won titles. In the quarter-final they defeated HC GKS Katowice and had to play against Ciarko PBS Bank Sanok, the main contender for the title. To everyone's surprise Pasy were the better team and qualified for the final!

Cracovia were on a roll and won the thirst three games against JKH GKS Jastrzębie. Our rival managed to pull three games back and level the score, but in the end it was Cracovia who won the last game 6-2 and won the league championship for the tenth time in club's history!

Cracovia had a good start to the 2014-15 season. In the fourth series of games they had a crisis in their form, but the team qualified for the play-offs. In this phase of the competition we had to face MMKS Podhale. Pasy lost two first games and for the third one the team from Nowy Targ were awarded a walkover, which meant that it was Podhale who got through to the semi-final.

Ahead of the 2015-16 campaign Cracovia strengthened their squad with many great players, including Poland internationals. We had one goal and that was to win the league championship.

The "Return of the Champions" mission turned out to be a success. During his eleventh year at Comarch Cracovia Rudolf Rohacek guided the team to win the Polish Cup in December 2015 (our team defeated Tatryski Podhale Nowy Targ 5-0 in the final) and finish top of the table at the end of the regular season of the Polish Hockey League. Pasy sailed smoothly through playoff quarterfinals beating Orlik Opole 3-0. The semifinal series against Ciarko PBS Bank Sanok was much more thrilling - our team won four games in the best-of-seven series and earned qualification to the playoff finals.

In the final series the winner also was decided in seven games. Comarch Cracovia defeated title holders GKS Tychy in the first two home legs, but in the next two games it was GKS Tychy who made good use of home ice advantage. In game 5 our rivals scored two late goals and had the chance to defend the title. However, our team rose to the challenge and won 3-2! In the deciding game played at their home arena Pasy won 2-1 through Pavel Kutsevich and Petr Šingal goals and a string of great saves from Rafał Radziszewski. This meant that after a three-year break we welcomed the league championship back to Cracow.

Together with the championship Comarch Cracovia won entry ticket to the Champions Hockey League. Pasy were the first Polish team to play in the elite competition, having made their debut mid-August 2016 against Sparta Praha and Färjestad BK. They added another league title to their collection in 2017 which means that there are more CHL games to come in Cracow!