International Ice Hockey Federation

Poland follows suit

Poland follows suit

Hosts remain in contention for promotion

Published 22.04.2015 23:30 GMT+2 | Author Martin Merk
Poland follows suit
Polish forward Marcin Kolusz with a shot against Ukraine. Photo: Miroslaw Ring
Poland remains in contention for promotion after edging Ukraine 3-2 in the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A.

“We played really well. We skated well and I think we played more physically then them, that made the difference,” captain Marcin Kolusz said. “But in the next game we have to make sure we don’t concede stupid goals like today.”

For a long time the Poles had more chances but the game was scoreless. Eventually it worked out for the Poles midway through the game on a counter-attack while the Poles were playing shorthanded.

Grzegorz Pasiut attacked on the right side and fed Adam Baginski with a horizontal pass through the Ukrainian defence, who then opened the scoring at 13:13 of the second period. To make things worse for the visiting team, the Ukrainians lost veteran forward Sergi Varlamov due to an injury for the last period.

The Poles started the third period with a 5-on-3 that was converted with Mateusz Rompkowski’s 2-0 goal after 34 seconds. But at the moment the power play was over, the Ukrainians reacted immediately to cut the deficit to one goal.

On a counter-attack Vladyslav Gavrik outskated three Polish players to beat Przemyslaw Odrobny with a shot from a sharp angle between the pads.

And it was not over yet. After a face-off at 4:52 with Artem Bondaryev in the offensive zone the puck went through the opponent’s leg towards the goal and Vitali Lyalka reacted the fastest to tie the game at two.

The Poles used their chance to regain the lead on the next power play when Olexander Pobyedonostsev was sent to the penalty box for delaying the game.

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With traffic in front of the net a point shot from Krzysztof Zapala was deflected to the left side where Rompkowski was at the right spot to shoot the puck into the empty net.

“It was a very tough game that both teams could have won. The most important moment for us was the power-play goal in the last period. We are very happy to win this important game,” Polish coach Jacek Plachta said.

“It was a very difficult game for both teams. The score was decided by the power play and penalty kill and the Poles were better on this than us,” added Ukraine coach Alexander Godynyuk.

The race for promotion is now reduced to a battle involving four teams that thanks to tonight’s win includes Poland.

The program for the host won’t be easy though. Tomorrow they will face Kazakhstan, the dominator of the tournament so far. On Saturday the Poles will play against Hungary, the other team with six points from three games. Italy is ranked fourth with five points while Kazakhstan has nine points and has the opportunity to already win the tournament tomorrow with a regulation-time victory against Poland.


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