International Ice Hockey Federation

Poland remains in race

Poland remains in race

Hungary to stay in Div. I for 2018

Published 27.04.2017 20:20 GMT+3 | Author Martin Merk
Poland remains in race
Photo: Andrey Basevich
Poland beat Hungary 2-0 to remain in the race for promotion while for Hungary the dream of returning to the top division is over.

After this game only four teams are able to earn promotion: Korea, Kazakhstan, Poland and Austria. However, opposed to the other teams Poland doesn’t have destiny in its own hands and will need favourable results in the other games beside a win against Austria tomorrow to earn promotion.

“We won against Hungary. We played really well, strong and fast,” said Krzysztof Zapala, who won the player-of-the-game prize for his team and scored the game-winner. “We don’t watch the other teams, we just have to win our game and we will see what will happen.”

“We were able to dominate in the beginning of the first period and then lost momentum with a couple of penalties and had even more in the second,” said Hungary’s assistant coach Gergely Majoross. “We had a lot of chances in the third period but didn’t score. We played against a good goalie. We always play close games with Poland with very little amount of goals. The same happened tonight and unfortunately we’re the ones who scored less often. Power plays and special teams are key in tight games like this and we couldn’t produce much on power play. We will have to analyse and find the reasons.”

Poland outshot Hungary 10-6 in the first period but neither team managed to score after 20 minutes.

Early in the second period Tomasz Malasinski had a huge chance when he came to the puck just right of the goal post but it was some millimetres too late. A few moments later Poland eventually scored.

Zapala got the puck at the blue line from Malasinski, skated towards the net and around Hungarian defenceman Bence Stipsicz to beat goaltender Bence Balizs for the first time.

“I saw the defenceman doesn’t move so I know I have to move around and shoot. And I scored,” Zapala said.

14 seconds later Poland had to play shorthanded after an interference call against Damien Kapica. But a giveaway in the offensive zone by the Hungarians offered Malasinski a breakaway that he gladly accepted. He skated faster than Bence Sziranyi and Vilmos Gallo and at the end of the road he lifted the puck backhand over Balizs for the 2-0 goal.

“It was a really tough game, it could have been ending both ways. We played good in the first period and stepped up in the second and were finally able to score goals. The third period was really tough, they found back into the game but we managed to win,” said Poland’s assistant coach Torbjorn Johansson and added before tomorrow’s game against Austria: “In tight games you need to have good offence and good defence. It’s a new game. It will be the last game. We will do everything to win it.”

Hungary became stronger in the third period and outshot Poland 12-5 but they didn’t manage to get the puck past goaltender Przemyslaw Odrobny, who earned his shutout with 25 saves.

While Poland still has hopes for the last game against Austria, Hungary will finish the event in fifth place no matter what the outcome of their game against Kazakhstan will be.

“Against Kazakhstan it will be about pride now. There are many fans who came over to support us. The least thing we have to do is to battle as much as we can. It’s really tough to move up especially if expectations are high,” Majoross said underlining how competitive the Division IA has become in which he played and coached so many times for almost 20 years.


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