International Ice Hockey Federation

Hungary spoils Korean party

Hungary spoils Korean party

Bartalis earns hat trick in high-scoring game

Published 20.04.2014 22:37 GMT+9 | Author Martin Merk
Hungary spoils Korean party
The Hungarian players celebrate a goal in the opening game against host Hungary. Photo: Kim Soohan
One year ago Korea celebrated its first win over Hungary on the opponent’s ice. Now the Hungarians took revenge with a 7-4 victory in Goyang.

Like one year ago it was an entertaining game with many scoring chances and heavy work for both goalkeepers but this time with the better ending for Hungary. And with a hat trick from Istvan Bartalis.

“Everybody is happy after a win but we shouldn’t get so many penalties,” Bartalis said. “We let them come back into the game.”

It was an important game for both teams. One that may well determine in which direction the tournament will go for them as 150 loud Hungarian fans at the arena have hopes for promotion while Korea hopes to avoid relegation like last year while improving their fifth-place finish in 2013.

Midway through the first period the Koreans ran into penalty trouble. First Brock Radunske was sent to the penalty box for interference, 15 seconds later Kisung Kim shot the puck over the plexy and was assessed a penalty for delaying the game.

The Hungarians had several scoring opportunities including a shot on the crossbar and had yet to wait for their first goal. Once the 5-on-3 was over, Radunske was assessed another penalty for charging and this time the Hungarians capitalized. Bartalis scored on a rebound after a distance shot from Marton Vas at 14:18.

Then the Koreans had an opportunity to perform on a power play and Hungarian defenceman Bence Sziranyi almost deflected a shot from Don Ku Lee into his own net. But with 2:17 left it was Hungary who scored again. The Koreans lost the puck in their own zone to a hard battling Hungarian forward Balazs Sebok, who passed the puck to Andras Benk whose shot went into the net deflected by Zsolt Azari.

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Hungary made the best of a nervous start with 11 shots on goal for each team in the first period.

“The penalties cost us some goals but All players skated hard and I’m satisfied with the players,” Korean coach Sun Wook Byun said.

“Everybody will fight hard. We started slow against Hungary but we will work hard and see the result. Every game will be very important for us. We have to prepare for a good game tomorrow.”

Korea hoped for a comeback in the second period but beat itself again with an unnecessary penalty. Canada-born Michael Swift surely had a different idea of his debut in an official IIHF championship game than being assessed a major penalty but that’s exactly what happened after his check against the head and neck area of Hungary’s Sebok during a battle for the puck at the boards. Midway through the penalty Azari scored with a precise shot from the left face-off circle while team staff took care of Sebok.

Despite the 3-0 deficit the Koreans didn’t give up and created one or the other scoring chance like Hyunmin Ahn’s shot from a short distance 12 minutes into the second period. But then Hungary extended the lead again. Istvan Sofron scored the 4-0 goal after skating through the Korean defence following a drop pass from Janos Hari.

However, it was too early to think the game was already decided. With 4:44 left and 11 seconds into a power play, the Koreans eventually scored the long-awaited first goal. Brock Radunske found the hole when shooting just in front of Hungarian netminder Zoltan Hetenyi but two minutes later Csaba Kovacs made it 5-1 after a pass from the end boards from Janos Hari. And in the third period it took only 46 seconds until Bartalis netted his second goal to make it a 6-1 game with his shot into the top-right corner. Still, the game was far from done as the Koreans didn’t want to disappoint their home crowd.

At 2:52 the Koreans had reason to cheer when Radunske scored his second goal of the night on a rebound after a Kisung Kim shot. Korea took out goalkeeper Sungje Park and brought in Hoseung Son and five minutes later Sanghoon Shin had a breakaway and put the puck between Hetenyi’s five-hole after fine stickhandling, forcing Hungary coach Rich Chernomaz to use his time-out. Too present was last year’s game when Hungary blew a 4-1 lead against Korea to lose 5-4. It was the first loss in 11 head-to-head games and Chermonaz wanted to make sure history wouldn’t repeat.

“I was very satisfied with our performance in the first two periods. We put a lot of pressure in Korea’s end. They took some penalties that were costly and gave us a 6-1 lead,” Chernomaz said.

“We knew they’re not going to quit and they showed a lot of character. We stopped doing things that made us successful in the first period and had unnecessary penalties. We have to play more determined and with more strength than what we showed in the third period tonight. The third period cost as way more energy than I expected.”

Don Ku Lee’s power play goal from the blueline made it 6-4 with four minutes left in regulation time. That gave Korea’s players and fans energy and hope.

With 1:44 left and a penalty call against Tamas Pozsgai, Korea coach Byun also took his time-out and pulled goalkeeper Son. But 41 seconds later Bartalis completed his hat trick with a shot into the empty net. History didn’t repeat and Hungary did an important step towards the battle for promotion while Korea needs to earn much needed points in the upcoming games.

“We have to play well in each game and then anything can happen,” Bartalis said.


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