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hckosice

Men's Ice Hockey IIHF Under 20 World Championship 2018

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hckosice    1,784

After almost one month long preparation camps in Slovakia, The Under 20 coaching staff announced today the names of the 28 players flying today to USA for the last camp in Rochester before the World Championships in Buffalo.

 

The team has 2 scheduled test matches before the championship. During the night from 21st to 22nd December our time (01:00 AM) in Jamestown against Belarus and 22nd December (22:00) our time against Russia in Rochester. After the match with Russia, the coaches will announce the final roster of the 23 selected players

 

 

GOALTENDERS
Roman Durný     MHk 32 Liptovský Mikuláš
Dávid Hrenák     St. Cloud State University (NCAA/USA)
Jakub Kostelný     HK DUKLA Trenčín
DEFENCERS
Martin Bodák     Kootenay Ice (WHL/CAN.)
Martin Fehérváry     Oskarshamn IK (SWE.)
Samuel Fereta     HC SLOVAN Bratislava
Tomáš Hedera     HC SLOVAN Bratislava
Michal Ivan     Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL/CAN.)
Marek Korenčik     Lulea HF (SWE.)
Dušan Kmec     Philadelphia Rebels (NAHL/USA)
Andrej Leško     HC Bíli Tygři Liberec (CZE)
Dávid Matejovič     MMHK Nitra
Vojtech Zeleňák     HC Sparta Praha (CZE)
FORWARDS
Samuel Buček     Chicago Steel (USHL/USA)
Viliam Čacho     HK DUKLA Trenčín
Niki Jaško     HC SLOVAN Bratislava
Miloš Kelemen     HKM Zvolen
Filip Krivošík     LeKi Hockey (FIN)
Peter Kundrik     HK ŠKP Poprad
Adam Liška     Kitchener Rangers (OHL/CAN.)
Patrik Marcinek     HKM Zvolen
Miloš Roman     Vancouver Giants (OHL/CAN.)
Adam Ružička     Sarnia Sting (OHL/CAN.)
Erik Smolka     HK DUKLA Trenčín
Samuel Solenský     Johnstown Tomahawks (NAHL/USA)
Marián Studenič     Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL/CAN.)
Alex Tamáši     HC'05 Banská Bystrica
Vladimír Vybiral     MHk 32 Liptovský Mikuláš

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hckosice    1,784

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A
In Courchevel and Meribel, France :FRA , (December 10th- December 16th 2017)

 

Wednesday December 13th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Day 4 Results (GMT +1)

 

15:30  :HUN Hungary  3 - 5  Kazakhstan :KAZ    (in Courchevel)

19:00  :GER Germany  4 - 0  France :FRA    (in Courchevel)

19:00  :LAT Latvia  5 - 1  Austria :AUT    (in Meribel)

 

 

Provisional Standing After Day 4

1. Kazakhstan 7pts, 2. Latvia 7pts, 3. Germany 7pts, 3. France 5pts, 5. Hungary 1pt, 6. Austria 0pts.

 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group B
In Bled, Slovenia :SLO , (December 9th- December 15th 2017)

 

Wednesday December 13th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Day 4 Results (GMT +1)

 

13:00  :POL Poland  4 - 1  Lithuania :LTU

16:30  :SLO Slovenia  1 - 5  Norway :NOR 

20:00  :ITA Italy  2 - 3  Ukraine :UKR

 

 

 

Provisional Standing After Day 4

1. Norway 11pts, 2. Poland 11pts, 3. Slovenia 7pts, 4. Ukraine 4pts, 5. Italy 2pts, 6. Lithuania 1pt.

*Slovenia is assured to finish 3rd, Norway vs Poland scheduled for the last day will be the direct match for promotion.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group A
In Dumfries, Great Britain :GBR , (December 10th- December 16th 2017)

 

Wednesday December 13th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Day 3 Results (GMT)

 

13:00  :ROU Romania  4 - 8  Estonia :EST

16:30  :JPN Japan  5 - 1  South Korea :KOR 

20:00  :GBR Great Britain  8 - 1  Netherlands :NED

 

 

Provisional Standing After Day 3

1. Great Britain 9pts, 2. Japan 8pts, 3. South Korea 5pts, 4. Estonia 4pts, 5. Romania 1pt, 6. Netherlands 0pts.

 

 

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hckosice    1,784

Schedule for 14.12.2017

 

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A
In Courchevel and Meribel, France :FRA , (December 10th- December 16th 2017)

 

Thursday December 14th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Day 5 Schedule (GMT +1)

 

19:00  :FRA France vs Latvia :LAT    (in Meribel)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rest Day: :AUT Austria, :GER  Germany, :HUN Hungary, :KAZ Kazakhstan

 

 

LIVESTREAM

http://www.iihf.com/competition/644/live-stream/

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group A
In Dumfries, Great Britain :GBR , (December 10th- December 16th 2017)

 

Thursday December 14th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Day 4 Schedule (GMT)

 

13:00  :EST Estonia vs Japan :JPN

16:30  :NED Netherlands vs Romania :ROU 

20:00  :KOR South Korea vs Great Britain :GBR

 

 

LIVESTREAM

https://www.247.tv/live/iihf-u20-world-championship

 

 

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phelps    520
12 hours ago, hckosice said:

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group B

 

In Bled, Slovenia :SLO , (December 9th- December 15th 2017)

 

Wednesday December 13th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Day 4 Results (GMT +1)

 

13:00  :POL Poland  4 - 1  Lithuania :LTU

16:30  :SLO Slovenia  1 - 5  Norway :NOR 

20:00  :ITA Italy  2 - 3  Ukraine :UKR

 

 

 

Provisional Standing After Day 4

1. Norway 11pts, 2. Poland 11pts, 3. Slovenia 7pts, 4. Ukraine 4pts, 5. Italy 2pts, 6. Lithuania 1pt.

*Slovenia is assured to finish 3rd, Norway vs Poland scheduled for the last day will be the direct match for promotion.

 

 

down and down and down and down the Italian Hockey goes...:(

it's so depressing realizing that, beyond the awful present, there's no future too for the most beautiful sport in the world here in Italy...:cry::facepalm::wall::zip:

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hckosice    1,784

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A
In Courchevel and Meribel, France :FRA , (December 10th- December 16th 2017)

 

Thursday December 14th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Day 5 Results (GMT +1)

 

19:00  :FRA France  0 - 1(OT)  Latvia :LAT    (in Meribel)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rest Day: :AUT Austria, :GER  Germany, :HUN Hungary, :KAZ Kazakhstan

 

 

 

Provisional Standing After Day 5

1. Latvia 9 pts, 2. Kazakhstan 7 pts, 3. Germany 7 pts, 3. France 6 pts, 5. Hungary 1 pt, 6. Austria 0 pts.

 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group A
In Dumfries, Great Britain :GBR , (December 10th- December 16th 2017)

 

Thursday December 14th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Day 4 Results (GMT)

 

13:00  :EST Estonia  1 - 4  Japan :JPN

16:30  :NED Netherlands  1 - 7  Romania :ROU 

20:00  :KOR South Korea  (GWS)5 - 4  Great Britain :GBR

 

 

Provisional Standing After Day 4

1. Japan 11 pts, 2. Great Britain 10 pts, 3. South Korea 7 pts, 4. Estonia 4 pts, 5. Romania 4 pts, 6. Netherlands 0 pts.

*Netherlands are assured to finish in last 6th position and will be relegated to the Men´s Under 20 Division II Group B World Championships next year 2019. The match between Japan and Great Britain scheduled in the Last day of the tournament will be the direct match for promotion to Division I Group B.

 

 

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hckosice    1,784

Schedule for Friday 15.12.2017, including the last day of the Division I Group B Championship.

 

 

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A
In Courchevel and Meribel, France :FRA , (December 10th- December 16th 2017)

 

Friday December 15th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Day 6 Schedule (GMT +1)

 

13:00  :GER Germany vs Hungary :HUN    (in Courchevel)

19:00  :KAZ Kazakhstan vs Austria :AUT   (in Courchevel)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rest Day: :FRA France, :LAT Latvia

 

 

LIVESTREAM

http://www.iihf.com/competition/644/live-stream/

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group B
In Bled, Slovenia :SLO , (December 9th- December 15th 2017)

 

Friday December 15th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Last Day Schedule (GMT +1)

 

13:00  :UKR Ukraine vs Lithuania :LTU

16:20  :SLO Slovenia vs Italy :ITA 

20:00  :NOR Norway vs Poland :POL

 

*Norway vs Poland, the direct match for promotion, the winner of the game (Doesn´t matter if in Regular Time or after Overtime/GWS) will be promoted for next years Men´s Under 20 Division I Group A World Championships. 

Ukraine, Italy and Lithuania are all still fighting for the maintain. If LTU lose tomorrow to UKR they will be relegated, If they win and Italy lose to the host they will maintain themselves in this division. Italy need to win over Slovenia if Lithuania will win in Regular time, any other result in this case will send them down, but if Lithuania lose Italy will be safe however their result tomorrow will be. If both LTU and ITA wins their matches in Regular Times, it will be Ukraine who will fall down to Division II A next year

 

 

LIVESTREAM

UKR vs LTU

SLO vs ITA

NOR vs POL

 

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hckosice    1,784

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A
In Courchevel and Meribel, France :FRA , (December 10th- December 16th 2017)

 

Friday December 15th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Day 6 Results (GMT +1)

 

13:00  :GER Germany  7 - 2  Hungary :HUN    (in Courchevel)

19:00  :KAZ Kazakhstan  3 - 2  Austria :AUT   (in Courchevel)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rest Day: :FRA France, :LAT Latvia

 

 

 

Provisional Standing After Day 6

1. Kazakhstan 10 pts, 2. Germany 10 pts, 3. Latvia 9 pts, 4. France 6 pts, 5. Hungary 1 pt, 6. Austria 0 pts.

 

*France is assured to finish 4th. Hungary vs Austria in the last day will be the direct match for the maintain, losing team will be relegated. KAZ, GER and LAT all still will fight for the promotion, Kazakhstan with the better position (Thanks the head to head confrontation with Germany (3-2 after OT for KAZ in the first day), if they win their last match in regular time they will be promoted no matter of the result of Germany-Latvia match. If Latvia win against Germany even a OT/GWS win will be enough for Kazakhstan.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group B
In Bled, Slovenia :SLO , (December 9th- December 15th 2017)

 

Friday December 15th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Last Day Results (GMT +1)

 

13:00  :UKR Ukraine  (GWS)2 - 1  Lithuania :LTU

16:20  :SLO Slovenia  6 - 1  Italy :ITA 

20:00  :NOR Norway  (GWS)3 - 2  Poland :POL

 

 

Final Standing

 

1. Norway 13  :NOR  :champion:

Qualified for the Men´s Under 20 Division I Group A World Championships 2019

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Poland 12

3. Slovenia 10

4. Ukraine 6

5. Italy 2

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Lithuania 2

Relegated for the Men´s Under 20 Division II Group A World Championships 2019

 

 

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hckosice    1,784

Schedule for 16.12.2017

 

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A
In Courchevel and Meribel, France :FRA , (December 10th- December 16th 2017)

 

Saturday December 16th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Last Day Schedule (GMT +1)

 

14:30  :LAT Latvia vs Germany :GER    (in Courchevel)

16:00  :AUT Austria vs Hungary :HUN    (in Meribel)

18:00  :FRA France vs Kazakhstan :KAZ   (in Courchevel)

 

 

*Kazakhstan with 10 points, Germany with 10 points and Latvia with 9 points are still in the battle for the promotion to the Men´s Under 20 Top Division next year 2019.

-The Kazakhs with the best cards on their hands. Thanks better head to head confrontations with both rivals they will be qualified if they win tomorrow against France in Regular Time (In this case even the German win in RT against Latvia will not mater) if Latvia beat Germany, Kazakhstan will need to win at least after OT or GWS.

-Germany will gain the ticket for the top division if they beat Latvia (better in Regular Time) and Kazakhstan will not do the same with France.

-Latvia will qualify in the same case of win against Germany and Kazakhstan´s lose to France.

**Austria vs Hungary the direct "do or die" match for the maintain, the Losing team (doesn´t matter if in Regular Time or after OT/GWS) will be relegated to the Men´s Under 20 Division I Group B next year 2019, where they will replace Norway freshly promoted team.

 

 

LIVESTREAM

http://www.iihf.com/competition/644/live-stream/

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group A
In Dumfries, Great Britain :GBR , (December 10th- December 16th 2017)

 

Saturday December 16th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Last Day Schedule (GMT)

 

13:00  :ROU Romania vs South Korea :KOR

16:30  :EST Estonia vs Netherlands :NED 

20:00  :GBR Great Britain vs Japan :JPN

 

 

*In this tournament only one question still remains unanswered. Who will be promoted for the next years 2019 Men´s Under 20 Division I Group B.

Only 2 countries remains in the battle, Japan with 11 points and Great Britain with 10 points, and both teams will play each other in the last game of the tourney. so the Maths are really easy, the winner of the match (Doesn´t matter if in Regular Time or after OT/GWS) will celebrate the promotion.

**Netherlands still pointless in the tournament are already assured to be relegated for the next years Men´s Under 20 Division II Group B.

Estonia, Romania and South Korea all three can still fight for the Bronze medal.

 

LIVESTREAM

https://www.247.tv/live/iihf-u20-world-championship

 

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hckosice    1,784

MEN´S UNDER 20

DIVISION I GROUP B

2018

 

c89bf6c344.png

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Norway holds its nerve

Poland misses out in shootout

 

25442823_10155792353155900_9349683242445

The Norwegian U20 national team players celebrate after winning Division I Group B gold.

 

 

Norway edged Poland in a tournament-deciding shootout to seal top spot in the IIHF World Under-20 Championship Division IB on Friday.

The teams met in the final game of the tournament in Slovenia, both knowing that any kind of victory would be good enough to win the competition and claim a spot in Division IA next year. Norway eased into a 2-0 lead thanks to a quick-fire salvo early in the second period, but the Poles refused to yield. Dominik Jarosz pulled one back in the middle frame, then Alan Lyszczarczyk potted a dramatic equalizer with seven seconds left. Overtime was scoreless, but in the shootout Norway’s strong goaltending made the difference: Jorgen Hanneborg, who plays his hockey in Finland with the Espoo Blues, won all his duels. Martin Ellingsen claimed the decisive score.

The game promised to be a clash of styles. Norway had reached this stage thanks to a miserly defence, allowing just three goals in four games. Poland, meanwhile, offered lively offense: Lyszczarczyk, who plays in Canada with Owen Sound System, topped the scoring charts ahead of strike partner Bartlomiej Jeziorski, but there were questions over the defence, especially after the team allowed six power play goals during the tournament.

At times, the game reflected that. From the start, Poland was happy to get forward and shoot at Hanneborg’s net. Norway, by contrast, looked for more control of the puck and sought to carve out clear-cut opportunities. After a scoreless opening stanza, the Norwegians exploded with two goals in 64 seconds early in the second. Samuel Solem created the first, weaving his way to the Polish net before Esbjorn Live Vold beat Kamil Lewartowski to a rebound and open the scoring. It wasn’t long before Mads Homdrom added a second, getting the vital touch on Joachim Nielsen’s shot from the blue line after Poland failed to clear its zone.

But then the Polish PK raised its game, seeing off a short 3-on-5 situation before Jarosz reduced the deficit. Then came the dramatic finish. Ellingsen almost won it for Norway but fired narrowly wide of the empty net, then got a minor for holding. Poland took advantage, forcing the puck home with seven seconds left on the clock when Lyszczarchuk shot a wrister through heavy traffic to tie the scores. That was his eighth goal and 15th point of the tournament; Jeziorski’s helper took him to 12 (5+7).

The Poles celebrated hard, but the reprieve was temporary. Ellingsen redeemed himself for that late penalty by deking his way past Lewartowski to win the shootout, and the tournament. The result means Norway makes an instant return to Division IA following its relegation in Bremerhaven 12 months ago.

However, Poland’s future at this level looks encouraging. Head coach David Leger highlighted the youth of his roster, which had two players born in 2000 and drew heavily on the squad that suffered relegation at u18 level a year ago.

Host nation Slovenia had hopes of disturbing the top seeds in the group, but finished third after losing to Poland in a shootout after a 4-4 tie and then suffering a 1-5 drubbing against the Norwegians. Ukraine took fourth place, but was competitive in all its games.

At the foot of the table, Lithuania returns to Division II after picking up just two points from two overtime losses. Italy also finished on two points, but crucially defeated the Lithuanians 2-1 in overtime to preserve its status by virtue of the head-to-head record. Simon Berger, of HC Pustertal, got the vital goal for the Azzurri, converting a power play three minutes into the extras.

Among the individual awards, the two Polish hot-shots Lyszczarczyk and Jeziorski led the scoring, with Norway’s Jacob Alexander Noer coming in third with 4+6=10 points. Poland’s late goal denied Hanneborg the top ranking among the goalies – Lithuania’s Laurynas Lubis pipped him with by stopping an impressive 95.29% of his shots across three appearances, although the Norwegian had fractionally the better GAA of 1.26 against 1.29.

 

 

Results Thread

 

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hckosice    1,784

Results of 16.12.2017

 

 

 

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A
In Courchevel and Meribel, France :FRA , (December 10th- December 16th 2017)

 

Saturday December 16th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Last Day Results (GMT +1)

 

14:30  :LAT Latvia  1 - 0  Germany :GER    (in Courchevel)

16:00  :AUT Austria  5 - 2  Hungary :HUN    (in Meribel)

18:00  :FRA France  1 - 6  Kazakhstan :KAZ   (in Courchevel)

 

 

 

Final Standing

 

1. Kazakhstan 13  :KAZ  :champion:

Qualified for the Men´s Under 20 Top Division World Championships 2019

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Latvia 12

3. Germany 10

4. France 6

5. Austria 3

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Hungary 1

Relegated for the Men´s Under 20 Division I Group B World Championships 2019

 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group A
In Dumfries, Great Britain :GBR , (December 10th- December 16th 2017)

 

Saturday December 16th, 2017 -

Round-Robin Last Day Results (GMT)

 

13:00  :ROU Romania  2 - 5  South Korea :KOR

16:30  :EST Estonia  5 - 6  Netherlands :NED 

20:00  :GBR Great Britain  2 - 5  Japan :JPN

 

 

 

Final Standing

 

1. Japan 14  :JPN  :champion:

Qualified for the Men´s Under 20 Division I Group B World Championships 2019

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. South Korea 10

3. Great Britain 10

4. Estonia 4

5. Romania 4

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Netherlands 3

Relegated for the Men´s Under 20 Division II Group B World Championships 2019

 

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hckosice    1,784

MEN´S UNDER 20

DIVISION I GROUP A

2018

 

4f55946709.png

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Kazakhs go to B.C.

Central Asians earn promotion to World Juniors

25353649_10155795109805900_8556599625506

Kazakhstan won the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A and will play at the World Junior Championship for the first time since 2009.

 

 

Every year, the Christmas season is one that plays host to a plethora of national teams in a number of tournaments across the globe. Rarely do these tournaments see as dominant a point-consuming winner as the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A, which has once again sweetened the holiday season for some, while giving a number of nation’s ice hockey programs plenty to think about in preparing for next year’s edition.

 

Spent in the lovely, snow-filled Meribel and Courchevel in France, a new champion has been crowned and it’s none other than the tournament’s most exotic geographical participant, Kazakhstan. This was concluded in astounding fashion as the Kazaks polished off host France 6-1 in the final game, allowing the team to go undefeated in collecting 13 of 15 possible points. Saturday’s victory, as well as gaining first place, was due in part to defenseman Valeri Orekhov, who led the way in putting an exclamation point on the top spot with three assists, allowing him to tie for the lead in tournament scoring with seven points.

 

This amount was also tallied by teammate Artur Gatiyatov, who proved to be Johnny on the spot at several junctures of the tournament. He also tied for the tournament’s lead in the plus-minus department with a +5. Clearly though, scoring over the five-game event was spread out across a number of shoulders. Another top point-getter was Nikita Nazarenko, who contributed four goals and two assists, despite often playing on a different line that Gatiyatov. All in all, 10 players accumulated two or more points.

 

The journey to first place experienced its first test when Kazakhstan required overtime to defeat eventual 3rd place Germany 3-2 in the first game of the tournament. The exact same path needed to be taken in their second game, having beaten eventual 2nd-place Latvia by the same score in overtime to set the pace. After that, the Kazaks completed one mission after another, defeating the promoted Hungary by a tight score of 5-3, Austria in a 3-2 thriller, and then host France 6-1 in the only game of the tournament that saw the promoted Kazakhstan really dominate their opponent over 60 minutes.

 

That elation was clearly evident throughout the arena, most especially noticed by the predominantly French spectators, once the siren had rung and Kazakhstan’s celebration began taking place.

 

After a very strong showing in 2016 followed by another respectable showing (and a bit of bad luck) in 2017, the Kazak program has achieved its goal and will be a part of the big show in 2019 when the world’s best juniors gather in Vancouver and Victoria in Canada’s western province of British Columbia. Home to a population of roughly 18 million inhabitants, the intentions and progress of the Kazak ice hockey program have become very clear in recent years thanks to the achievements of the U18 and U20 teams, both of which have performed strongly in the respective Division I tournaments in the U18 and U20 categories. Something that is reminding viewers of the type of progress that Belarus has enjoyed in recent years.

 

Taking notes

In a couple of weeks Belarus will be part of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship taking place in Buffalo, New York. That was made possible thanks to a convincing Division I tournament victory last December in Bremerhaven, Germany. Their journey took them from one B-town to another. And the Division I group serves as the stepping stone for every ambitious hockey nation that feels it should be duking things out with the world’s best. That’s now a step Kazakhstan will be experiencing for itself this time next year and will surely have all eyes on this year’s edition of the tournament, which will begin on 26th December.

 

It’s a tournament Kazakhstan’s hardest opponent, Latvia, is all too familiar with and one it desperately wants to be part of year for year.

A clear favourite heading into this December’s Division I Group A, the Latvian U20 national team was making a journey from North America to France, where their mission could only be to achieve direct re-qualification to the world’s top U20 division. To get back up, they’d have to beat recent Division I power Germany, ever-improving French and Kazakh teams, the grab bag Austrians, and a Hungarian team that has swiftly made its way up to Division I through some good grassroots development.

 

Only two years ago, this Latvian team had defeated some stiff competition in Vienna, Austria, to make its way up to the world’s elite. A 1-0 victory over Germany on the final day of the tournament allowed the Latvians, who had lost to Kazakhstan just 3-2 in overtime, to keep their hopes high, but alas, that one point lost to Kazakhstan on the second day of the tournament proved the difference on the final day.

 

Keeping things tight

German coach Christian Kunast perhaps said it best by stating, “We’ve once again come to see that this division won’t let you get away with even one bad day. At the end of the tournament, the team gaining promotion is the one that plays most consistently right from day one.”

 

A glance at the paths taken by Latvia and Germany at this tournament, much less that of Kazakhstan, which had it lost in overtime to either Germany or Latvia, would not have gained promotion when all was said and done, once again showed how tight the competition is at this level. Latvia missed out by one shootout loss and Germany’s loss of five possible points proved extremely bitter, considering each loss was by just one goal. A different hero here or there could have seen any of these three countries finish first.

 

“Our congrats go to Kazakhstan for gaining promotion,” stated German team manager Klaus Merk. “They played the best tournament, managing to do what was necessary when it was necessary, and rightfully earned first place in the standings.”

 

Differing a bit from previous years were the fates of Austria, France, and Hungary. Other than beating up each other, none of the three could make a dent against the tourney’s top three. Hungary’s one point came in OT against France, which at that juncture of the tournament seemed like quite the success. Nonetheless, the level of play in France and at this tournament was too much for Hungary, which still must be seen as an up and coming ice hockey nation.

 

Clearer playing field and continued trend

Almost surprisingly, the host nation France didn’t have the tournament it expected. After a very strong appearance last December in Germany, where the team managed to feature the tournament’s top scorers (Gabin Ville and Bastien Maia with 12 and 10 points respectively) and really give the impression that it will be reckoned with for promotion this year, the team simply couldn’t come close to achieving the same level of success. This came as a bit of a surprise for several reasons.

 

The home-ice advantage was felt to give the team a big boost, especially after the men’s World Championships were successfully co-held in France just this past May. In addition, the team featured what many felt would be the tournament’s strongest player, Alexandre Texier, a 2017 2nd-round draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets who is currently taking a regular shift for KalPa in Finland’s top senior circuit, for whom he has scored eight goals in 30 games. After kicking off the tournament with three assists in France’s convincing 6-1 victory over Austria, he managed just one point over the next four games in which France garnered just two points and was shut out twice. His power outage was indicative of France’s 4th place finish in the tournament.

 

Another trend that has developed at the Division I level was once again confirmed, namely that nations of the former USSR not only were among the most competitive, but also posed the tournament’s champion for the third year running. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as each of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Latvia have a rich history with the sport, which is clearly the most popular team sport in Belarus and Latvia while being as much in several parts of Kazakhstan.

 

On the way down

As if the organizers knew this match-up might hold such relevance, the final day of the tournament included an Austro-Hungarian match-up that featured a do-or-die scenario with respect to relegation. The two nations of Austria and Hungary are not just deeply entwined from an historical standpoint, but each have teams playing in the EBEL, a multinational league that stretches across four Central European nations and organizes its own junior leagues. A great many of the players dotting the roster have come up through the junior programs fostered by EBEL participants and/or are currently playing in North America, Scandinavia or Switzerland.

 

Each having entered the game with no more than a single point, Austria managed to pull out a convincing 5-2 victory, which was one that the team celebrated with aplomb. Forward Marco Rossi looked like a man on a mission with two goals and four points, proving to be the difference like few individuals had been in a game thus far. Although this was certainly a bit of a damper in the program’s progress, ice hockey pundits continue to believe that Austria will start to have a higher impact on the international ice hockey scene at this level in the years to come.

 

For now, the nations of Germany, France, and Austria will watch the progress of Kazakhstan at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship while anxiously awaiting to see who will join them next winter after this year’s World Juniors in Buffalo. One thing they already know is that Norway will be rejoining them at next year’s Division I Group A tournament. To get there, Norway required a shootout victory to defeat Ukraine and then another in the final game to defeat Poland.

 

As such, things are getting tighter at the U20 level - something that every true ice hockey fan has to love to see.

 

 

Results THREAD

 

 

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hckosice    1,784

MEN´S UNDER 20

DIVISION II GROUP A

2018

 

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Japan’s juniors rise

Beat host Great Britain to win Division IIA

 

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Japan won the U20 Division II A tournament in Dumfries

 

After an absence of two years, the Japanese U20 national team returns to the Division I thanks to an almost flawless week in Dumfries, Scotland, at the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division II Group A.

Five victories, with four in regulation time including a final-day win over hosts Great Britain, was enough to see Japan promoted from Division II Group A with 14 points out of a possible 15.

The week began in convincing fashion for Teruhiko Okita’s side as Tohi Kobayashi scored twice in a 6-1 victory over the Netherlands, who would go on and be relegated despite a thrilling final-day win over Estonia when they came from 4-1 down to win 6-5.

The Japanese weren’t always in control of the group though after they dropped a point in their second game against Romania. Kobayashi scored the game-winning goal 97 seconds into overtime to give his side a narrow 3-2 victory.

Hosts Great Britain led the way after three games with wins over Romania (3-2), Estonia (6-2) and the Netherlands (8-1); in a game which saw the tournament’s leading goal scorer Liam Kirk – who ended the competition with seven goals – grab a hat trick.

Japan kept up their winning record with a 5-1 victory over Korea before the dynamics of the group took a twist on game day four.

It was pretty routine for Japan in a 4-1 success over Estonia, but GB lost 5-4 to Korea after a penalty-shot shootout, so it was the Japanese who topped the group going into the final day.

Korea, who won promotion from Division II Group B last season and was the tournament’s lowest-seed team, beat Romania 5-2 – a result which would ultimately secure them the silver medal.

Japan was denied promotion in a final-day showdown with Lithuania in Estonia last year, but they never looked like suffering the same fate in the game for gold with Great Britain as goals from Masato Kume and Daiki Miura opened up a two-goal lead.

Kirk, who also led the tournament in points with 14 in five matches, pulled GB to within one, but Hayato Aiki and Daiki Miura stretched Japan’s lead to 4-1.

GB head coach Slava Koulikov took his timeout at 15:22 of the third period and lifted netminder Jordan Lawday for the extra skater and it paid dividends within 15 seconds as Cole Shudra scored.

Despite a further three minutes of constant pressure the British were unable to find a way past Eiki Sato – and Junki Shinoda wrapped the game up into the empty net.

It was agony for the hosts who had to settle for bronze and they missed out on promotion at the first time of asking after having come down from the Division IB, but Japan – who conceded the lowest goals in the tournament (seven) and scored the joint-highest (23) – makes a return to Division I in fine style.

Silver went to Korea, which finished the tournament in second place and the U20 World Championship program in 24th place overall – better than ever in the U20 category. Jong Min Lee and Juhyung Lee were the best scorers behind Kirk with six goals and four assists.

 

 

Results THREAD

 

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