IIHF WC Div IB 2019, Tallinn, Estonia: 1.5.2019 Japan vs Estonia #5 Eduard Slessarevski, #5 Ryo Hashiba. (c) Sachiko Prior, BalticsMedia

In the afternoon game, Japan and hosts Estonia met. The Japanese did not want to lose the connection to the top. In the last game last year in Kaunas Japan won just under 2-1.

The game practically kicked off with a power play for Japan as Makrov had to leave the penalty box after 25 seconds. The Japanese took advantage of this opportunity and only 20 seconds later Iwamoto meets 1-0 (1.). The Estonians were by no means shocked, and then counterattacked. After a good play-off, Slessarevski scored the blue line and the puck went under the savers of Goalie Hata to make it 1-1 (4.). The reaction of the Japanese was to continue practicing their powerful game. Added to this was a power play that was used again. Hashiba scored the 2-1 (9.) with a wide shot. The Estonians did not come into play after this goal and even had to survive a short 3:5 playful shortfall. Towards the end of the period, the Japanese came back to a power play, and again it was successful. Hirano exploits a pass from Furuhashi to 3-1 (17.). Not enough, the Japanese still set a goal on it. In the penultimate minute before the break Yamada meets for 4-1 (19.).

After the break, Estonia tried to turn the game around, but the attacks faltered again and again. In a collision Viitanen injured, but this could continue to play. The Japanese came in a row to another power play, followed by a double exclusion, it fell no further goals. After a Parras shot, Hata throws the puck off the crossbar and a shot from Sibirtsev passes just over the goal. A solo by Terao remained as unrewarded as that of Rooba. Estonia had a brief period of urgency, but Petrov and Emrich fail Hata. Towards the second break, the Japanese came back more. A shot from Yamada comes close, Nakayashiki hits, after a cross pass from Sato, only the pole.

Estonia had the first power play at the end of the period, but this was without a goal. The Japanese were stronger again and gave Teraro a good chance. With a double chance from Tanaka and Sato, Estonia’s goalie Shumikhin had to put all his skills to good use. Five minutes before the end, the final decision was made. After a pass from Hashiba Sato scored the 5-1 (55.). Estonia tried everything again, but chances of Makrov and Novikov remained unused. Just two minutes before the end Estonia came to a power play. In a wide shot by Embrich goalie Hata wanted to catch the puck with laxity, but slipped under the body to 2-5 into the goal (58.). Estonia had the last chance and Ossipov missed another chance eight seconds before the end. Japan wins well thanks to a strong first third and still has chances of promotion. “We’ve upgraded our power-play lines and we’ve done better on the defensive today, so having three power-play goals in the first period has helped a lot, we still have the chance to win this tournament, whatever we want.” said Hashimoto after the game.

Team Japan vs Team Estonia 5-2 (4-1, 0-0, 1-1)

The first game on the third day played the previously winning teams of Ukraine and the Netherlands against each other. The last match between these teams was in 2015, Ukraine won 3-1.

IIHF WC Div IB 2019 Tallinn – Estonia: 1.5.2019 Netherlands vs Ukraine #8 Andrei Mikhnov – (c) Sachiko Prior/BalticsMedia

Ukraine immediately tried to grab the game and also made good attacks. The first good chance had Peresunko with a shot of the Dutch goalie Hrelja could only beat away. The Ukrainians followed suit and shortly afterwards it was Petrukhno, also with one shot. After a good solo by the Dutch defensive, Babinets fails to goalie Hrelja. The pressure grew and Nimenko could not beat Hrelja. 27 seconds before the first break Mikhnov plays through the defense of the Netherlands and looked for the way to the gate. Hrelja was able to fend off his shoot, and the puck went from the skates Mikhnov’s to 1-0 (20.).

After restart Boer gave the first shot on goal for the Netherlands on goalie Dyachenko. The Dutch tried again and came to a power play. In a game build-up and after an unfortunate action, Bison hits the Ukrainian Merezhko with the stick in his face. He stayed for a short while and then had to be treated because he was bleeding. The referees had not seen that and it was unpunished. The power-play game continued and Mason scored with a shot into the cross the 1-1 (28.). The Ukraine needed some time and then the game in hand. After a shot from Skripets the puck glides under the saver of Goalie Hrelja to 2-1 into the gate (33.). Only 11 seconds later Merezhko comes the puck and pushes it to 3-1 in the goal (33.). The Dutch were now very desperate and only half a minute later shoots Tolstushko on Hrelja and Lyalka fakes to 4-1 for Ukraine (34.). The Netherlands did not even cross the line so dominant was the Ukrainian game. After a shot from Grygoryev Hrelja fends off shortly and Mazur dusted off to 5-1 (36.). Ukraine had another chance just before the second break through Peresunko, but he lifts the puck over the goal.

After the game was decided, Ukraine was calmer in the final period. Nevertheless, they tried to continue to score goals, which also succeeded. After a pass from Mazur Mikhnov to 6-1 (45.). The Netherlands were now very rarely in attack, Knoop tried it with a long shot, the Goalie Daychenko did not bother. Shortly thereafter, there was power play for Ukraine. This lasted only 11 seconds and Laylka scored the 7-1 (50.). Ukraine let down because of this lead with pressure. Only towards the end there were chances again, Tolstushko fails Goalie Hrelja. The final point in this very one-sided game sat Laylka. After a cross pass from Mikhnov, he scored the final score of 8-1 (59.) with his third goal in the match. “This victory was deserved at this level and was important for the morale and continuity of this tournament,” said Ukrainian captain Andrei Mikhnov after the game.

Team Netherlands vs Team Ukraine 1-8 (0-1, 1-4, 0-3)

In the last game of the day, the two candidates for promotion, Poland and Romania, met each other. The Poles won two impressive victories, but the last game of these teams was won by the Romanians.

IIHF WC Div IB 2019, Tallinn, Estonia: 1.5.2019 Poland vs Romania #30 Zoltan-Laszo Toke, #11 Daniel Tranca, #11 Alan Lyszczarczyk. (c) Sachiko Prior, BaltisMedia

The Poles started well and Domogla narrowly missed the puck. However, the Polish team then weakened themselves and Romania had a 5:3-power-play-game. This was of course used and Rokaly meets for 1-0 (9.). The Poles were behind in this tournament, as against the Netherlands. This fact hampered the attacking spirit and Romanians had another chance through Goga, but Goalie Odrobny stood firm.

After restart, the Poles initially tried to equalize. Dronia and the five-time scorer against Ukraine, Kapica, had the opportunity. But Romania were no less dangerous and Reszegh and Rokaly also had good chances for further goals. After that the game became a bit colorless and there were only a few good opportunities left. Poland had to do more in the final period to maybe give the game a turn.

In the final period it became more turbulent again. For the time being, Poland was on the trigger, the team wanted to score the equalizer goal. Chances were Jaskiewicz, Dziubinski and Wronka. Romania was hardly present in a playful way. Poland struggled for chance, but Kolusz miss Goalie Toka alone, Kostek’s shot narrowly missed the goal. Likewise, Neupauer awards the Romanian goalie Toka. This urge phase was rewarded as Kapica scored with a 1-1 (52.) shot. But the joy of the Poles did not last long. The renewed lead for Romania followed only 90 seconds later. Poland’s goalie Odrobny had the puck under control and wanted to shoot this away. It hits the own defender Kostek on the knee and from there the puck goes to 2-1 into the goal (54.). Two minutes before the end Odrobny goes off the ice and Poland pushes for compensation. He also makes it 23 seconds before the end. Dziubnski scores 2-2 (60.). With this score, it goes into the over-time. In overtime Poland awards by Neupauer and Lyszczarczyk. Romania came in for a power play and Borysenko scored with his wide shot for 3: 2 and victory. With this victory, Romania still has chances for promotion.

Team Poland vs Team Romania 2-3 OT (0-1, 0-0, 2-1, 0-1)