International Ice Hockey Federation

Farewell win

Farewell win

Kazakhstan also too strong for Italy

Published 25.04.2015 18:50 GMT+2 | Author Martin Merk
Farewell win
Kazakhstan in the offence against Italy. Photo: Miroslaw Ring
It was just a farewell game against Italy for tournament winner Kazakhstan but it ended like all others: with three points for the Kazakhs.

Only Italy could have improved its position in the standings from that game but after the 3-0 loss the Azzurri end the tournament in fifth place.

“We were prepared for the game. We were a little bit tired, it was the fifth game in seven days, the game was slow. We were lucky that we got the first goal and we’re happy we go home in first place,” Kazakhstan coach Andrei Nazarov said.

The only question many fans had was whether the Kazakhs would be able to play their A-game again after having already sealed the tournament win two days ago or whether Italy could capitalize on the situation with a win.

The first sort of an answer came after less than seven minutes of play when Yevgeni Rymarev scored his third goal of the championship. He was left alone at the blueline and got the pass after nice work from Maxim Khudyakov, who stole the puck and deked an Italian before finding Rymarev in best position.

Italy played better in the middle frame but didn’t capitalize on its scoring chances. The Kazakhs did. Scoring efficiency has been a strength of the team during this tournament.

Talgat Zhailauov skated from left to the goal at 5:10 of the third period and while the Italian defence seemed to be prepared for a pass, he simply skated to goalkeeper Andreas Bernard to beat him through his five-hole.

At 13:39 Luca Felicetti hooked his opponent trying to prevent a breakaway but Alexei Vorontsov beat Bernard with the ensuing penalty shot into the top-left corner for the 3-0 goal.

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“It was the same story in our games. We create many chances but we have trouble scoring,” Italian coach Stefan Mair said. “It’s the beginning of a process and I feel sorry for our young team. We have to do a few adjustments for the next year.”

With the tournament win Kazakhstan will travel to the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Russia as the better-seeded of the two promoted teams.

“We have few more people coming up,” Nazarov said about next year. “It will be a different team. I think we’re going to be a little bit bigger and faster. We have to get better if we want to stay in the top division.”

Hungary and Poland will battle tonight for the second ticket to Moscow and St. Petersburg next year.


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