IIHF WC Div IB 2019, Tallinn, Estonia: 2.5.2019 Japan vs Netherlands # 7 Reno de Hondt, #10 Seiya Hayata, #1 Michikazu Hata. (c) Sachiko Prior, Baltics Media

For Japan it was in the game against the Netherlands to win the victory over the possible chances to keep up. There have been two games of these two teams so far, both of them having won Japan.

The Netherlands wanted to get the first points after the previous clear defeats. Accordingly, the team of coach Mason also appeared. The otherwise effervescent and fast Japanese seemed a bit tired and unfocused. After such a carelessness, the Dutch came to a power play. This was also used promptly, de Hondt scored the 1-0 (10.). The Japanese visibly more uncertain and the Dutch gave this goal an extra boost. It developed a balanced game, but goals were no more until the break.

After the break, the Japanese were then more active and searching direct way to the gate. The Dutch, however, did not hide. After a precise pass from Knoop to Oosterveld, this fails on Japanese goalie Hata. Shortly afterwards, Vogelaar fired a very sharp shot, causing Hata to lose his stick. The Japanese came into the game now better and after a solo by Teraro prevented Netherlands goalie Oosterwijk a goal. In this good phase of the Japanese was followed by a quick counterattack of the Dutch. Stempher comes with the puck from the own zone and fits the free-standing bird hair. The takes over directly and scored the 2-0 (32.). The Dutch set in and with a shot of Nordemann the puck is only on the pole.

In the final period, the Japanese risked everything and put on total offensive. Hirano tried a long-range shot, Goalie Oosterwijk fighting off, but Yamada fails in the onslaught. In addition, Japan also had a power play, but always ran into the dangerous counterattack of the Dutch. Hashimoto with a shot attempt, this comes close to the gate. A few minutes later Hiromichi Terao takes a heart, moves off and between the savers of the Dutch goalie the puck goes to 1-2 in the gate (54.). The Japanese drew hope again and took Hata off the ice two minutes before the end. But Stempher comes to the puck and hits with an empty net goal to 3-1 (59.). Japan was still not beaten. Yuri Terao with a shot attempt. Less than half a minute before the end Furuhashi gets on the side of the puck, and circles the puck to Oosterwijk to 2-3 in the gate (60.). This gate came too late. The Netherlands win their first game and still hopes for the league. Japan has to bury hope for a rise after this defeat.

Team Japan vs Team Netherlands 2:3 (0-1, 0-1, 2-1)

The second game of the day was played by Romania and Ukraine. For the Romanians it was about valuable points to get closer to the promotion.

IIHF WC Div IB 2019, Tallinn, Estonia: 2.5.2019 Ukraine vs Romania: #14 Zsombor Molnar, #7 Igor Merezkho, #13 Roberto Gliga, #30 Bogdan Dyachenko, #28 Filipp Pagelov-Yuldashev (c) Sachiko Prior, Baltics Media

The Romanians started right away and had the first power play in the first few minutes. This opportunity was not missed and Balasz meets for the 1-0 (4.). Although Ukraine was able to open the game after this goal, the goal opportunities offered could prevent Goalie Polc. As the game progresses, Romania has become stronger and Biro is giving away a good opportunity. Kuru before the break, Romania came to another power play. Ten seconds before the break Biro scored the 2-0 (20.).

After the restart, the Ukraine came up short and had opportunities, which, however, could not be implemented in goals. Romania controlled the game and Rokaly forgives a good opportunity. Towards the end of the period, Ukraine posted a good attack and Babinets succeeds, after Butsenko’s pass, connecting port to 1-2 (18.). The Romanians countered and in the last minute before the second break Constantin meets 3-1 (40.).

In the final period was followed by a show of Romanians, too dominant was their style of play. Ukraine came very rarely to the gate of Dyachenko. After a good game build Butochnov meets to 4-1 (48.). That was the preliminary decision in this very one-sided game. The final point was Rokaly, who was awarded a penalty after a foul. This chance uses the veteran and meets the 5-1 final score (58.). With this victory, Romania is moving further towards promotion.

Team Ukraine vs Team Romania 1-5 (0-2, 1-1, 0-2)

For the Poles the match against hosts Estonia was important. In a victory, there is still the theoretical chance of promotion. The Estonians should also score so as not to be in danger of relegation.

IIHF WC Div IB 2019, Tallinn, Estonia: 2.5.2019 Estonia vs Poland #5 Filip Komorski, #9 Bartlomiej Neupauer. (c) Sachiko Prior, Baltics Media

It was a very heated and emotionally charged game from the start. The Poles were always dangerous with their fast strikers Dziubinski and Neupauer. In Estonia, Rooba and Parras were dangerous. It was just under a quarter of an hour played as Poland manages by Komorski the lead to 1-0 (15.). Nothing changed during the game, only the goals were missing.

After the first break Estonia pushed for the equalizer, which gave the Poles space for counterattack. A shot from Malasinski Koitmaa could indeed defend but the puck slipped further towards the goal line. But Andrejev could barely knock him out. On the other hand, Vasjonkin tried his shot but did not cause much trouble for Goalie Murray. In general, the event neutralized itself. It was not until the end of the period that things got hot again. After a quick push by Dziubinski, this Koitmaa crashes. Kerna plays the Avenger and delivered with Marzec a little brawl. Later, the events calmed down and it went with this narrow lead of the Poles in the final period.

Estonia starts with a lot of enthusiasm in the last period and had a power play after a few minutes. Here Arrak gives a good chance, he does not put the puck in the empty gate. The Estonians were still on the trigger. Ossipov tried a wide shot and Fursa failed at Murray. At this stage, Komorski gets to the puck on the blue line, has a clear view and with a sharp shot he scores the 2-0 (46.). This goal inspired the Poles and just two minutes later Neupauer takes over a pass from Lyszczarczyk and scored, with a shot under the crossbar, 3-0 (48.). The Estonians did not give up and became more active again. After a solo by Petrov this falls on Murray. The Polish goalie complained too much and received a fine. Estonia came cheap to a power play. This opportunity Makrov uses and scored the 1-3 (51.). This goal set further forces free with the Estonians and only two minutes later Rooba meets to 2-3 (53.). They tried everything now, but ran into the Polish counterattack. Starzynski fails Koitmaa. Two minutes before the end of the Estonian goalie went from the ice. The last chance had Makrov to compensate, which prevented Murray. This wins Poland this game and remains in the race for promotion. Estonia must now score against Ukraine, otherwise the descent could still threaten.

Team Estonia vs Team Poland 2-3 (0-1, 0-0, 2-2)