After losing 5-1 to Ukraine in the final game of the 2014 Group H Olympic Qualifiers that resulted in them not moving on to the next round, Poland beat Hungary 1-0 in a thrilling shootout victory to earn a spot in the final Olympic Qualifying round in September.
65 minutes of intense action wasn’t enough to figure out the winner, as goaltenders Przemyslaw Odrobny (POL) and Miklos Rajna (HUN) made 38 and 26 saves respectively. For Hungary, a victory meant a lot more than what it would for other countries in the second round of the qualifying tournament, as the team has already earned a berth in the 2016 World Hockey Championships this coming May.
But, unfortunately, that wasn’t what would happen on Sunday. Instead, a lone shootout marker by Krzysztof Zapala proved to be the decider as Poland was able to take the 1-0 victory, a game that will be remembered for a long time in the country.
It was a strange game for Poland, whose 9-1 and 6-2 victories heading into the final day would suggest they’d have no problem scoring. Hungary, however, were hungry themselves, having won 4-0 and 7-1 before Sunday’s big contest.
Poland will now join Latvia, Germany and Austria at the Group E qualifying tournament in Riga, Latvia from September 1st-4th. Earlier in the day, Japan advanced to the Group F tournament in Norway thanks to a 2-1 thriller against Ukraine on home soil.
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