International Ice Hockey Federation

Dallman saves Kazakhstan

Dallman saves Kazakhstan

Scores OT winner, only goal vs. Poland

Published 25.04.2017 17:16 GMT+3 | Author Martin Merk
Dallman saves Kazakhstan
Photo: Andrey Basevich
Kazakhstan beat Poland 1-0 in overtime to remain in contention for promotion at the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A.

The Kazakhs wanted to make up for their historic loss against Korea but it was the Poles who had the better start. They outshot Kazakhstan in the first two periods while the Kazakhs had a plus in the third. In a goalies’ game blueliner Kevin Dallman scored the difference-making goal at 1:39 of the 3-on-3 overtime period.

“We had a lot of chances, they’re goalie was good. They had a lot of chances, our goalie played good. It’s a tough tournament. You play back-to-back,” Dallman said. “We just have to continue now, get a rest for the game against Ukraine tomorrow. All the teams here are pretty good, they are the home team here, it will be a good atmosphere. We have to play our game and will hopefully get another win.”

Tight wins against Poland were key for Kazakhstan to earn promotion in 2015 in Krakow and 2011 here at the Palace of Sports in Kyiv. The last time the Kazakh men’s national team lost to Poland in an IIHF-sanctioned game was in 2007 when Poland won 5-2 in Qiqihar, China.

“It was a difficult game because both teams played at the same level. The goalies played well. All teams have a chance to win here. We played better than in our last game and had better chances,” said Kazakhstan head coach Eduard Zankovets.

Kazakhstan has won its Division I tournaments in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 to earn promotion back to the top division and aims to continue this pattern again in 2017. A loss to Poland would have been a big blow after the defeat against Korea two days ago. Now hopes are back to make it for Kazakhstan while for Poland the hope to get to the top level for the first time since 2002 is fading after two losses in three games. Poland tightly missed a top-two position to earn promotion when it took bronze both times in the last two years when the country hosted the event in Krakow and Katowice respectively.

“We knew before this game that it would be a tough test for us and for our goalie because they have good and skilled players but we defended well. We had our chances to score too but we didn’t,” commented Poland’s assistant coach Torbjorn Johansson. “After the third period we had to be happy to get at least one point.”

There have been enough chances of course to end the game earlier for either side. Like midway the second period when Kazakh goalie Vitali Kolesnik cleared a puck when it was sliding on its way to the goal line. Or when Polish goalie Przemyslaw Odrobny made an excellent pad save after a shot from Dallman was deflected in front of his net.

It was the goaltenders who were in the centre of attention with Poland outshooting Kazakhstan 29-27 during 60 scoreless minutes. Then came the 3-on-3 extra period and it didn’t last long.

The “Kazucks”, players from the Canada-born contingent, were on the ice to win their team an extra point. Nigel Dawes along the left boards found Dallman in central position whose shot went in over Odrobny. It was the 59th shot of the game that ended it in Kazakhstan’s favour.

“It’s a 3-on-3 overtime, anything can happen when you get a chance,” Dallman said. “Dawzy made a nice pass and I closed my eyes and shot it and it went in. It’s a good win but we still have to focus on two more games.”


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