International Ice Hockey Federation

Gold or Silver

Gold or Silver

Korea's fate in Lithuania's hands

Published 19.04.2015 18:09 GMT+2 | Author Joeri Loonen
Gold or Silver
Korea exploded offensively against Croatia. Photo: Thijs de Witte
Korea gets required victory over Croatia and are now depending on Great Britain to slip up against Lithuania to win gold.

Korea won the game in the second period which was wild and crazy. Seven goals were scored but it also marred a freak incident which involved Croatia netminder Mark Dekanich.

After colliding with Heyok Kim, the goaltender laid motionless on the ice for minutes and eventually had to be carried off on a stretcher carrying a neck brace. Information afterwards learned that the goaltender did not sustain any serious injury and is doing ok.

Mate Tomljenovic replaced the Canadian born Dekanich and had a horrifying tournament debut. He let in eight goals goals on 33 shots as Korea took full advantage of disarray on the Croatian team.

Up 2-1 thanks to an early second period goal by Ryan Kinasewich, Croatia collapsed and saw Korea score four unanswered goals in less than four minutes.

First, Jin Hui Ahn scored five seconds into a Korean power play to tie the game up before Kisung Kim scored one minute later to give Korea back the lead.

Tomljenovic' introduction to the game was far from friendly as he conceded two more goals within the following two minutes.

"Every shot suddenly went in on their new goalie," said Michael Swift. "That took them off their game and they stopped playing in the third period."

"We would have won this game when we have had Dekanich in net for the whole game," felt Croatia coach Don MacLean. "If we had played the first three days as we did in the final games I'm sure we would have been a good candidate for gold here. This was a tough tournament for us as it wasn't easy to gel the team. Some players might have just underestimated the level of this world championship."

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Both teams exchanged goals late in the period to finish the second period scoring frenzy at 6-3.

There was no shortage of excitement in the third period as Korea continued what it was doing in the second period. With tempers running high amongst the Croatian ranks, Korea enjoyed long power play spells. 

Tadija Miric received two misconduct penalties while veterans Igor Jacmenjak and Sasa Martinovic had to leave for the dressing room after picking up a game misconducts leaving a further decimated Croatia team consisting out of 14 players on the ice for the anthem after the game. Croatia had already started the game short handed with three players out with injury.

With just three goals in the third period, Korea was kind to Croatia who entered the tournament aiming for gold but now will have to await the result of the Great Britain vs Lithuania game to learn whether they will win bronze.

Sangwook Kim and Michel Swift led Korea in scoring today with a four points each as Korean ran out to a 9-4 score.

The Koreans did what they had to do in winning their final two games after they surprisingly lost against Great Britain. They too, will watch the Great Britain game with great interest as Korea will have to settle for silver and a prolonged stay in Division 1 Group B when Great Britain manages to get at least a point out of the game.

Losing out on gold would be big blow for Korean hockey which desires to play at a high level in preparation for the Olympics. "We really need to move up to play against better opposition," knew Korea head coach Jim Paek. "The players need to be prepared for every game as if it is the final one of the season. That is my responsibility and something I definitely take back home from this tournament.

"In a tournament like this there is no room for error," learned Michael Swift. "We lost one game by a single goal and that might just have been one error too much."


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