International Ice Hockey Federation

Sanghoon! Sangwoo!

Sanghoon! Sangwoo!

Korea leads with three straight wins

Published 25.04.2017 20:39 GMT+3 | Author Martin Merk
Sanghoon! Sangwoo!
Photo: Andrey Basevich
Korea also won its third game of the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A in Kyiv, 3-1 vs. Hungary. The chance to earn promotion rises.

For Korea it’s the second win in history against Hungary after a 5-4 victory in shootout on the opponent’s ice in Budapest in 2013. Hungary avenged the loss at the Division I event one year later, beating Korea on its ice in Goyang 7-4, but this time Korea took the three points and continues to lead the group as the only team without a loss.

“It was a great game with two hockey teams battling really hard and the better end for us,” said Korean head coach Jim Paek, who thanked the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation for its help and friendship that helped raise the standard of Korean hockey.

“Hockey is a funny game. We try to control what we can control. Sometimes a lucky bounce or a penalty call can change a game. You have to get all the stars and moons lined up and with your work ethic you hope to have some success.”

10 months before hosting the Olympics the Koreans are playing stronger than ever. After a day off tomorrow they could secure a top-two placing at this tournament in the game on Thursday against Austria and promotion to the top division for the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark.

“We’ve seen their federation evolve in the commitment they have made in developing their program, that’s why they’re 3-0 in the tournament. They’re very well coached. The Asian mentality is very disciplined. They played a very disciplined style in their first three games and if you play like that you usually prevail. They didn’t allow us to generate a lot of offensive opportunities,” said Hungary coach Rich Chernomaz

Korea outshot Hungary 33-23 and broke the deadlock with two goals in the third period. This time it was the native Koreans who seized the opportunity with Kisung Kim, Sanghoon Shin and Sangwoo Sin scoring the three goals.

“Things happened as we expected. We were fully prepared that they’d come out strong,” Sanghoon Shin, who scored the game-winning goal, said. “We’re not surprised that we won three games because we are trying really hard to get better every day. We want people to see us and to look forward to our development and bright future.”

Korea, the only undefeated team after two days, again had a strong start but despite a 13-5 shot advantage the first period remained scoreless.

Hungary seized the opportunity when Bryan Young and Young Jun Lee were both assessed penalties for high-sticking and they got a 5-on-3 opportunity. After a pass from Janos Hari, Bence Sziranyi sent off a long shot that Daniel Koger deflected past Korea’s Eric Regan and through Matt Dalton’s five-hole at 3:45.

The game continued to be at par and the teams stayed disciplined not allowing too many good chances. Vilmos Gallo had the biggest one nine minutes after the goal when he almost made it 2-0 for Hungary after a giveaway but his shot hit the crossbar.

Korea eventually found back at 15:43. Jin Hui Ahn missed a chance in front of the net but Sangwook Kim got the puck, sent a horizontal pass from right to left and Kisung Kim converted it to tie the game at one.

In the third period a bizarre goal from Sanghoon Shin gave Korea its first lead of the game. Shin assisted himself with a shot went wide the net and hit the end board, then shot from an acute angle from the right on the rebound. Although Hungary goalie Bence Balizs seemed to cover the corner, Shin’s shot found its way past the netminder into the net at 6:31.

“When I was in front of the goal I tried to get a second shot and just put it in and it turned out well,” he commented his goal.

For Hungary coach Chernomaz the game-winner was symbolic for Korea and its success in Kyiv. “They went until the end. When you do that opposed to making another play or pass, situations like that arise. They used their speed and we didn’t defend very well in that situation. They executed when they needed to especially in the third period and we didn’t,” he said.

The teams exchanged tripping penalties after the goal. Krisztian Nagy tripped Korea captain Woosang Park, who fell into the boards, but Korea didn’t capitalize on the man advantage. Neither did Hungary when Bryan Young tripped Keegan Dansereau on the way to the net giving the Hungarians a power play and an opportunity to tie the game.

It was a breakaway that gave Korea the 3-1 goal. Sangwoo Sin shone with a nice deke against Bence Sziranyi at centre ice before beating Balizs with his shot. Hungary didn’t manage to close the gap anymore. Korea won again, and it did it again with a great third-period effort.


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