Former Colt and Sting Leading the Way in Poland

frantisek bakrlik wojas podhale polska liga hokejowa poland hockeyFrantisek Bakrlik played two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, 2000-01 and 2001-02. The native of the Czech Republic began his OHL career with the Barrie Colts and during his second season in the Ontario Hockey League was dealt to the Sarnia Sting midway through the season.

Bakrlik represented the Czech Republic at the 2001 World Under-18 championships played in Finland. The Czech Republic was held out of the medals that year, placing fourth. Infamously known during his career in the Ontario Hockey League as the Barrie Colt who was acused of hurling a racial slur at Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds goalie, Ray Emery, during the 2000-01 season.

After junior, Bakrlik went back to the Czech Republic and played a season in the second tier of the Czech Extraliga. He returned to North American for the better part of three seasons to play in the United Hockey League.

Although he has made a few other attempts to catch on in his native country, Poland has become his second home. Frantisek has played three of the past four seasons for Wojas Podhale of the Polska Liga Hokejowa and is signed on for another season with the club. The team plays out of Nowy Targ, Poland.

This past season, 2009-10, he was a major part of the team winning the Polish championship. His 51 points on 21 goals and 30 assists over 40 regular season games placed him tied for first on the team. Bakrlik’s additional 17 points on 9 goals and 8 assists over 14 playoff games placed him first on the team and also in the league. His accumulative 68 points placed him fourth in the league.

The PLH is not the NHL by any means. The 19 team league plays just 40 regular season games. Those games are played in front of an average of 950 spectators each night. Podhale plays out of a 3,500 seat arena that was built almost 60 years ago (1952). Regardless, the important thing is that hockey is being played there.

Check out Frantisek Bakrlik’s profile page on the Wojas Podhale official website.

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