During a tournament filled with absolute blowouts, a close match is always very appreciated. But, somehow, the Division III World Championships saw two three goal deficits, only to be spoiled by Turkey’s 10-1 victory over Hong Kong.
Shortly after Georgia made history by securing their first ever WC victory over Bosnia, Turkey and Hong Kong both looked to end each others perfect records. Of course, Turkey made sure to appease the home crowd, with Yauvz Karakoc, Yusuf Halil and Alec Kocoglu scoring two goals each to lead the way for Turkey. For Hong Kong, Chi Lok Lau’s third of the tournament was all the team managed to put up on the board, scoring the 6-1 goal with eight minutes remaining in the second. The team decided to keep Emerson Keung in net for the entire contest, stopping 41 of the 51 shots directed his way in the eventual 10-1 victory for the tournament favourites.
In the third and final game of the day, North Korea and Luxembourg had quite the match going on until the Koreans completely stole the show near the end. The first two minutes saw a great flurry of action, with both teams exchanging goals right off the bat to make it 1-1. In the second, Song Jin Pak’s power-play goal in the final minute of the period gave his team the 2-1 lead, a goal that would help lure momentum into the hand of the tournament favourites.
The third period was when the game went downhill for Luxembourg, despite getting real close to changing that with 12 minutes left. First, however, Chun Min Ri gave his team the 3-1 lead with just six minutes off the clock, later proving to be the game winning goal. Luxembourg’s Marcus Eriksson would score his fourth of the tournament just two minutes later to reel his team back within one, but two goals by the Koreans in the next five minutes resulted in the stronger North Korean team taking the 5-2 victory.
Turkey will hope to continue their hot streak on Friday afternoon when they take to the ice against Luxembourg, while North Korea will look to do the same against Hong Kong. If all goes well for both teams, the gold medal game will be decided on April 12th, with the victor earning promotion to the 2016 Division IIB World Championships.
Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.