International Ice Hockey Federation

Korea writes history

Korea writes history

Beats favourite Kazakhstan 5-2

Published 23.04.2017 21:55 GMT+3 | Author Martin Merk
Korea writes history
Photo: Andrey Basevich
Korea wanted to surprise and did it by writing history. The Olympic host country beat Kazakhstan for the first time ever, 5-2.

The win lifts Korea to first place and in a good position to earn promotion to the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Denmark with three more games to go.

“What a game! We gained momentum. Kazakhstan is a very hard team to play and we’re fortunate to come out with a win. The more experiences we have in games with teams like Kazakhstan the better we get. We historically don’t have that much experience against teams like Kazakhstan so that helps us,” Korean head coach Jim Paek said.

The game ended a series of eight consecutive wins for Kazakhstan in Division I play since losing the last game 2-1 against Hungary four years ago in Budapest. In the teams’ last encounters Kazakhstan beat Korea 4-0 at the 2017 Asian Winter Games and 4-2 at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A.

“Our competitor was a very strong team. They played much better than us especially in the third period. We were simply not good enough today,” said Kazakhstan head coach Eduard Zankovets.

The defeat looked avoidable at first considering that Kazakhstan had more shots and started the game with a nice goal. Brandon Bochenski sent a drop pass to Nigel Dawes, who fed Bochenski to the front so he could open the scoring at 8:01.

Jin Hui Ahn tied it up at 15:56 as he reacted fastest after a face-off in the offensive zone won by Kisung Kim for the 1-1 first-period score.

At 13:25 of the second period Dawes scored his third goal of the tournament converting a pass from the end boards by Martin St-Pierre to give Kazakhstan a 2-1 lead going into the third period.

Early in the last frame the game was interrupted to repair a small break in the boards and once it continued the Koreans scored. Alex Plante, a former first-round draft pick of the Edmonton Oilers who moved to Korea two years ago, one-timed a Minho Cho pass at 5:49. And just 74 seconds later the Koreans capitalized on a counter-attack with Sanghoon Shin hammering the puck in top-shelf from the left face-off circle.

At 9:58 Korea’s defenceman Plante scored his second of the day on a long shot to make it 4-2 and forcing Kazakhstan coach Eduard Zankovets to use his time-out.

“It’s my first Worlds, I didn’t know that we wrote history. I’m just happy to be part of it. We just keep finding ways to get the bounces and to get them in,” Plante said.

The Kazakhs still had ten minutes to get back into the game but a major penalty against Alexander Lipin for boarding didn’t make it easier. The Koreans reacted immediately with Kisung Kim deking Vitali Kolesnik with 8:19 left on a two-man advantage.

The 5-2 score stayed until the end and Korea celebrated a historic win. “We’re going to enjoy this for a couple of minutes and then get ready for the next one,” Plante said.


Back to Overview