IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Div 1 Group B
Japan v Ukraine 2-3
In the battle of the basement teams, Ukraine came out on top as Japan yet again lost by a solitary goal. Ukraine were the better team throughout the encounter and burst into a two goal lead in the opening period.
It only took them 3.07 to get on the board as Lyalka jammed home a rebound after good initial work from Zakharov.
Japan would respond immediately, creating a 2 on 1 rush but Zakharchenko would deny Suzuki. He would again have to step up to deny Suzuki and Aoki as Japan pushed to tie the game.
With 1.43 remaining in the period, Ukraine would double their lead, with Petrangovsky picking up puck on a broken play and firing a shot which took a wicked deflection and trickled past Japanese net minder Sasaki.
Japan would have an early power play in the second frame but failed to capitalise and would end up giving Ukraine four straight man advantages in the period. Shortly after the second power play finished, Ukraine would make it 3-0. Lyalka showing incredible patience with the puck behind the net, faking one side before a wraparound attempt around the other, roofing his shot in off the crossbar.
Yet again it was Suzuki who had Japan’s best chance to respond but Zakharchenko has had an impressive tournament and he make a fantastic pad save.
As Ukraine played solid, sensible hockey in the final frame, a Japan comeback seemed unlikely until some very late drama.
A slapshot from Hashimoto with his team on the man advantage, would make it a 3-1 game with 4.14 left on the clock.
Drawing another penalty with just over 2 minutes remaining, Japan pulled their goaltender and it paid dividends as Kawamura perfectly placed his shot 5-hole to draw his team within one with 20 seconds left to play.
It was all too little too late though as Ukraine held on for a well earned three points.
Best Player of the game:
Japan – Akira Sasaki (Goaltender)
Ukraine – Vitali Lyalka (Forward)
Kazakhstan v Italy 3-4
The drama from the end of the first game of the day carried over to this one in an enthralling game of hockey, where Italy upset a Kazakhstan team who had been carrying all before them.
Kazakhstan took the game to Italy in the early going, going close on a few occasions with Savistky just missing on a wraparound attempt and Mikhailis hitting the crossbar.
Just after their second power play had been killed, Sergienko would tap home a rebound to give his side the lead at the 16 minute marker.
On the next power play Italy would almost score a short handed with Lacedelli on the breakaway, but he could only force a fine save from Sevidov.
Some ill discipline would see Kazakhstan take a 5 minute boarding call and Kairov would be ejected from the game. Despite that elongated penalty, some of it 5 on 3, Kazakhstan penalty killers denied the Italians.
It would only be temporary relief as Italy would tie the game up midway through the second frame. Oliver Schenk showing speed down the left wing before ripping a slapshot low past Sevidov’s glove hand.
That would be all the scoring after 40 minutes, setting up a fascinating last period.
The Italians would the rest of a penalty left over from the second period before taking a 2-1 lead just 59 seconds into the final frame.
A perfect cross ice feed from Terzago to Giovanni Morini who put the finishing touch to a wonderful play from the Italian team.
Just two and half minutes later Kazakhstan would tie the game with a power play marker from Sergienko who showed patience with the traffic in front, choosing the perfect moment to release a perfect wrist show. The defenseman’s second of the game and fourth of the tournament.
Italy would yet again go ahead with their next power play. Schenk getting the final touch of a puck after a mad scramble in front of the net, his second of the game.
It was the Italian’s turn to take a 5 minute major penalty and a game misconduct as Daniel Frank was called for boarding.
Remarkably Kazakhstan failed to score during this man advantage and Italy would increase their lead shortly after the kill.
I’ve been impressed with right winger Joachim Ramoser in this tournament and it was his perfect pass that found the tape of Alber’s stick on a 2 on 1 break.
Alber’s goal gave Italy a 4-2 lead and cue the mass celebration with just less than eight minutes remaining.
Kazakhstan played with even more urgency after this setback and were able to claw a goal back with 4:39 left to play and set up a grandstand finish.
Kazakhstan would basically play the final three minutes on the power play as they received two straight calls from the officials but there would be no way past the Italian defense or Martin Rabanser in net.
A quite incredible game for everyone that was privileged to watch and the Italians celebrated as if they had already won the gold medal!
Best Player of the game:
Kazakhstan – Yuri Sergienko (Defenseman)
Italy – Martin Rabanser (Goaltender)
Post Game Interview with Italian Coach Robert Chizzali
GB v France 5-4 Shootout
On a day of drama and an upset in the previous game, surely order would be restored by the top seeds France.
Great Britain had other idea’s though and played their best game of the tournament thus far to finally ease the heartache of their opening overtime loss to Italy.
After going close in the previous two games, Liam Stewart would finally open his goal account for GB with a perfectly placed shot in the top left corner to give the hosts the lead with just 2:13 on the clock.
An emphatic start and the home crowd went crazy. This may have gone a little to the GB player’s heads as they lost concentration and allowed France to tie the game a mere 36 seconds later, with Perret scoring his first of the tournament.
The young guns for GB were really shining in this encounter and it was hard graft by them that led to GB retaking the lead.
Ollie Betteridge working hard on the boards, enabled the loose puck to be picked up by his line mate Sam Duggan, who gave it back to Betteridge and the young man showed great composure to tuck the puck past Aubrun’s glove hand.
Into the second period and Betteridge almost added to his and GB’s tally but Aubrun stood tall, making a fine save.
France would score the only goal of the second period and it was mostly due to a calm and collected piece of play from Perret.
On a 2 on 1 puck, Perret was the puck carrier and he out waited the sliding GB defenseman to find the perfect moment to slide a pass to Laplace who couldn’t fail to miss.
The final frame would be a tense encounter, with no quarter given and nothing between the two teams.
Liam Stewart would come so close to his second goal of the game the puck was just poked off his stick with a yawning net awaiting him.
It looked as if France were going to break the hearts of the home fans as they took the lead with a power play goal.
With less than 9 minutes left on the clock, it looked a tough ask for GB to comeback and win this one.
They only needed 36 seconds to respond however as Venus released an absolute beast of a shot, going top shelf to tie the game at 3-3.
France would be denied on a following power play as the GB boys threw themselves in the passing lanes and in front of shots,
fully committed in front of Adam Goss who was also playing another fine game.
Just 2.23 was lest on the clock when Liam Morris, of the Toronto Attack, created a turnover inside the French zone, rounded
a defenseman before burying a low shot past Aubrun’s blocker to cue a wild celebration by the young man.
Yet again though GB showed a lack of concentration and allowed France to tie the game yet again just 33 seconds later.
There would be no more drama during regulation and it was off to overtime once more.
GB did well to survive the overtime period as both teams had chances, but the hosts looked gassed after giving everything to the cause.
A shootout would follow and create yet more tension in the craziest game of the tournament up to now.
With France shooting first, Adams Goss would make the first stop.
Then up stepped Jordan Cownie who didn’t make a fancy move but beat Aubrun through the 5-hole to give GB the lead.
Carpentier would tie the game on the next attempt for France to the disappointment of the home crowd.
Captain Ross Venus would be the next shooter for GB and his quick move and backhand finish, again through Aubrun’s 5-hole gave GB a 2-1 lead and Adam Goss the opportunity to win the game by stopping the next shot.
Laplace who had scored earlier must have been confident but Goss made the big save and the Dumfries Ice Bowl erupted in mass celebrations.
The biggest cheer of the week in the stands and certainly the largest celebration on the ice as GB rightly enjoyed this great moment.
Ross Venus 3 Points (2G/1A)
Liam Stewart 2 Points (1G/1A)
Sam Duggan registered his first point for GB with an assist.
Ollie Betteridge goal was his first for GB, having had three assists in his first campaign.
Best Player of the game:
GB – Liam Stewart (Forward)
France – Cedric di Dio Balsamo (Forward)
Peter Russell Post Game Interview
Ross Venus Post Game Interview
Liam Stewart Post Game Interview
Day 1 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship http://wp.me/p2gDti-ap
Day 2 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship http://wp.me/p2gDti-ax
Day 4 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship http://wp.me/p2gDti-aV
Day 5 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship http://wp.me/p2gDti-b1