Entering the medal race
Entering the medal race
Lithuania eyeing a medal. Defeats Estonia
Today's game between Baltic rivals Lithuania and Estonia saw bonus points being at stake. For Lithuania a victory would mean they would have definitely avoided relegation and would remain in the medal race.
For still pointless Estonia, any points gained from this game would bring them a step closer from avoiding relegation and above the other remaining pointless team; the Netherlands, which plays against Croatia later today.
"We came into this tournament for a medal and we can still achieve that," Lithuania forward Darius Pliskauskas said. "We still play Korea and Great Britain so we are up for some good games."
The Lithuanians started brightest and took the lead of the first chance of the game. Aivaras Bendzius picked up a lose puck in the Estonian zone and wristed it over Roman Shumukhin's stick hand to score his first of the game.
Unlike their previous two games, Estonia this time had trouble finding their game as Lithuania was allover the blue-and-white Estonians. Goaltender Roman Shumikhin made some flying saves denying Daniel Bogdziul and Dovydas Kulevicius but eventually he had to surrender. With Ilja Urushev in the penalty box for kneeing, Nerijus Alisauskas found a wide open Darius Pliskauskas at the far post to double Lithuania's lead.
Aleksei Sibirtsev tallied for Estonia in the second period when he found space between the legs of Mantas Armalis after a great feed of Roman Andrejev but it was as close as Estonia would get.Continue reading
The third period saw Lithuania running up the score much to the delight of a small group of vocal Lithuania fans in the stands.
Early in the third period, Bendzius scored his second when he rebounded home on an Alisauskas shot before Mindaugas Kieras made it 4-1 on the power play with a well placed one-timer.
In an ultimate effort to get something out of the game Estonia coach Jussi Tupamaki decided to pull his goaltender after 51 minutes and a Lithuanian Arturas Visockas in the penalty box to create a two man advantage situation. Lithuania did not collapse, survived the power play and scored themselves with the net still empty.
The goal broke the Estonian resistance and gave Lithuania the opportunity to demonstrate some gallery play.
"I was surprised with how easy things went today," said Pliskauskas afterwards. "Especially because we were very strong. We played some awesome hockey today."
Darius Pliskaukas scored another goal to cap the score 6-1.
On Saturday, Lithuania will host Korea while Estonia will be looking for their first points of the tournament against Croatia.
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