Thursday 27th March 2014
Game Seven Croatia v Netherlands
Croatia would yet again win behind some excellent goaltending as they threw a surprise by beating the Netherlands.
The Netherlands had the best chances early with de Winkel’s backhand effort sneaking just wide before Ruzic in the Croatian net made a fine pair of saves during a goalmouth scramble.
Goaltending would prove to be the difference between the two side as the Netherlands allowed Croatia to take the lead.
On the power play, Marijan Buljanovic threw a weak looking shot toward the net that should have been held and the loose puck was put away by Tibor Stancic.
Three minutes later and another poor piece of goaltending allowed Buljanovic to score this time after persistence from Plesko entering the zone.
Croatia kept the Netherlands off the board in the second frame as Ruzic kept composed under pressure, especially on the penalty kill.
It looked like they had made it 3-0 but the goal was waived off due to the puck being punched into the net.
Guus van Nes is the standout player for the Netherlands and he gave everything in the final frame to get his nation back into the game.
He’d be denied by a fine stick save before a beautiful piece of play to set up Kluijtmans, but his line mate failed to apply the finish.
With 48:38 on the clock, it was van Nes who made the breakthrough and brought his team within a goal. They would fire thirteen shots at the Croatian net but couldn’t find a way to tie up the game before taking a penalty with just over two minutes to play which killed any realistic chance of a comeback.
Two Croatian empty net goals would seal their second victory of the campaign.
Final: Croatia 4 Netherlands 1 (Croatia 3 Points – Netherlands 0 Points)
Best play of the game:
Croatia: Ivan Ruzic
Netherlands: Guus van Nes
Game Eight Korea v Lithuania
A goal fest in the second game of the day as we witnessed nine goals in 35 minutes as the two teams exchanged goals on a regular basis.
Woonjae Choi would open the scoring for Korea after Yeajun Kim had shown speed coming into the zone and delivered a delightful pass.
Lithuania almost responded immediately through Deivid Cetvertak but would tie the game up at 6:48.
Korea the architects of their own downfall in not clearing the puck and in the ensuing scramble Boroska got the final touch.
It took Korea just 46 seconds to retake the lead as another nice passing movement was finished by Chonghyun Lee on this occasion.
The game would be tied going into the second frame as a shot from the right circle was tipped in front by Deivid Cetvertak as Lithuania made a power play opportunity count.
All five goals in the second frame would come inside of eleven minutes.
Seongsik Cho restoring Korea’s lead before they took advantage of a 2 on 0 opportunity to make it 4-2 through Gyuseong Lee.
Lithuania responded to that fourth Korean score by scoring within seven seconds, as Deivid Cetvertak notched his second of the game.
Blink and you missed a goal and on the power play Korea made it 5-3 as a low shot from Yeajun Kim found the net with traffic in front screening the goaltender.
The scoring would be completed by Donatas Vitte as he brought Lithuania within a single goal once more.
The third period would provide some late drama as Lithuania pushed hard for a tying goal.
Despite power play opportunities, Lithuania couldn’t force home their advantage and late on took some penalties of their own.
With time running out and both teams with just four skaters on the ice, Lithuania pulled their netminder before an offensive zone face-off.
Managing to win the resultant puck battle along the back boards, the puck was thrown out in front by Deivid Cetvertak and Donatats Vitte was the right man in the right place to tie the game up with just 21 seconds remaining.
After so many goals through regulation it was a little ironic that overtime was notable for some very good goaltending, so much so that this game would be decided in the shootout.
Tied at 1-1 after six shooters, it would take eleven rounds to decide the extra point with Chonghyun Lee getting the deciding marker.
Final: Korea 6 Lithuania 5 Shootout win (Korea 2 Points – Lithuania 1 Point)
Best player of the game:
Korea: Chonghyun Lee
Lithuania: Deivid Cetvertak
Game Nine Romania v Great Britain
GB finally registered their first victory but it became a little closer than the hosts would have liked.
The first two periods of play were dominated by GB who out-shot Romania 35-15 after forty minutes.
It was just 1-0 to GB during that time however with Sam Duggan scoring on the power play as the Romanian goaltender kept his team into the game.
The third period was a different matter as Romania threatened to come back in a big way.
GB handed their opponents a early two man advantage which they managed to survive, partly due to Denis Bell-Blake between the pipes, who looked good on his international debut.
Romania would have two further power play chances but were unable to find a way through and instead it was GB who scored the crucial next goal.
With a power play of their own, GB were struggling to create anything until Alex Forbes received a pass with some pace on it and made a beautiful move around a defenseman before firing his shot home blocker side.
The relief was palpable on the ice and in the stands but Romania weren’t done yet.
The Rokaly brothers have been a threat throughout this tournament and when Norbert found the net with just over two minutes to play, the nerves for GB returned.
Romania couldn’t find a way to tie up the game and the post game celebrations were of a team finally glad to get the monkey off their back after two near misses.
Final: Romania 1 Great Britain 2 (Romania 0 Points – GB 3 Points)
Best player of the game:
Great Britain: Unknown
1) Korea 7 Points
2) Lithuania 7 Points
3) Croatia 6 Points
4) Netherlands 3 Points
5) GB 3 Points
6) Romania 1 Point