IIHF WC IA: First wins for Belarus, South Korea and Kazakhstan

South Korea beat Hungary 5-1 - Belarus beat 4-3 over Lithuania - Kazakhstan beat Slovenia 3-2
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The first game was played by Hungary and South Korea. The last game between these teams was in 2017, which won South Korea 3-1. It also started right away, because South Korea made off the face-off the game. Hungary’s Goalie Balisz had a lot to do from the start. After a successful action Shin Sang-Hoon scored the 1-0 for the Koreans (16.). The Hungarians had the right answer to this goal. Only 45 seconds later, Hari scores for the 1-1 (16.).

The Koreans come out of the cab with momentum and after just under two minutes Jin-Hui hits for the 2-1 (22.). This goal did not do the Hungarian any good and they hit a harder pace. South Korea came to power play and Sang-Wook takes this opportunity to score 3-1 (29.). In the final period, there was the same playful image, Korea in the forward gear and Hungary was mostly forced into the defensive. After a pass from Sang-Wook to Ki-Sung scored this the 4-1 (49.). That was also the preliminary decision in this game. Hungary could not stop it. Only seconds later, Sang-Wook scored 5-1 with his second goal (50.), the game was finally settled. With this clear victory, South Korea is among the favorites for promotion.

Team Hungary vs Team South Korea 1-5 (1-1, 0-2, 0-2)

In the second game of the Div IA were Rising Lithuania and the relegated from the Top Division, Belarus, opposite. For the Lithuanians, the „playing president“, Dainius Zubrus, was part of the squad. In Belarus, the brothers Kostitsyn lacked it with some players from Barys from the KHL.

The Lithuanians, under the command of new coach Dan Lacroix, immediately took the game in hand. The first power play, however, had Belarus. Lithuania did not hide. After a mistake in the Belarusian game build Bogdziul came to the puck, who scored the 1-0 for the outsider with a short-handed goal (3.). Belarus was visibly irritated, because only a few minutes later it was Zubrus himself, the one pass from Krakauskas used to 2-0 (9.). Belarus remembered its playful qualities. Only 28 seconds later Lopachuk succeeds after a solo, the connection goal to 1-2 (9.). The goal was liberating and after a good move from Alexander Malyavko to his twin-brother Sergei Malyavko scored for the 2-2 equalizer (16.). This equalizer paralyzed the Lithuanian defense and only 43 seconds later Platt scored the first goal for Belarus with 3: 2.

The mid-period was slightly out of fire after the turbulent first 20 minutes. Mostly neutralized the events. Both teams came to chances, but both Lithuania’s goalkeeper Amalis and Osipkov of Belarus were able to prevent a lot. In the final third it was better again. After exactly three minutes played Feoktistov meets with 4-2 for Belarus (43.). The Lithuanians, again powered by Coach Lacroix, tried again to come up. A few minutes after halftime, it was Gintaustas who netted a pass from Cetvertak to 3-4 (53.). It was then exciting again, Lithuania tried everything to achieve the balance. Belarus brings with great routine this mighty victory over time and remains for the time being in the race for the resurgence.

Team Lithuania vs Team Belarus 3-4 (2-3, 0-0, 1-1)

In the third match on the first day of the tournament organizer Kazakhstan played against Slovenia. The Kazakhs had made the promotion to the top division. Accordingly, this team went into the game. It took only a few minutes and Mikhailis scored the 1-0 for the hosts (4.). The Slovenes were more than surprised by the power and only a few minutes later Nekryach increased, after a solo effort to 2-0 (10.). The Kazakhs continued their game with the lead and came to a power play. This uses Mikhailis, who scored with his second goal, the 3-0 (16.).

After the restart, Slovenia was as replaceable and played at times the Kazakhs on the wall. But Kazakhstan’s Goalie Karlsson was very confident for the time being and blocked good chances. Again and again it was Kopitar who was very active in the build-up of the Slovenes. When it came to the second break, Slovenia struck. Kuralt exploits a pass from Ograjensek to 1-3 (38.). And that’s not enough, and only 90 seconds later Denis Rodman, after Kopitar’s pass, hits for the 2-3 (29.). Now the game was open again and it went into an exciting final period.

It was followed by an open exchange of blows, with many good scenes. Both goalies had a lot to keep, and were able to excel several times with great parades. Kazakhstan resisted the rolling attacks of the Slovenians. These take in the end Goalie Pintaric from the ice, but it used nothing more. Kazakhstan wins this game 3: 2.

Team Slovenia vs Team Kazakhstan 2-3 (0-3, 2-0, 0-0)

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