International Ice Hockey Federation

Ukraine gets crucial win

Ukraine gets crucial win

Promoted team blanks Hungary

Published 21.04.2014 18:59 GMT+9 | Author Martin Merk
Ukraine gets crucial win
Ukrainian forward Olexander Materukhin gets a scoring opportunity in front of Hungarian goalkeeper Zoltan Hetenyi. Photo: Kim Soohan
After bad luck in an overtime loss against Austria, the Ukrainian national team blanked Hungary 3-0 to get its first win in Goyang.

Since Ukraine was relegated from the top division in 2007 it had lost both games against Hungary. It was key games as Ukraine missed promotion in 2008 due to a 4-2 loss in the “final” against Hungary and in 2012 a defeat against this opponent led Ukraine down to Division I Group B.

This year’s Ukrainian team seems to be ready for more. Like against Austria it showed it can play at this level and against Hungary the blue-and-yellow team created more offensive action than their opponent may have expected.

“It feels pretty good. It’s a good thing we beat them without conceding a goal,” said Oleg Tymchenko and praised goalkeeper Sergi Gaiduchenko.

“We played very well, had a couple of lucky bounces and capitalized on our chances,” Ukraine coach Andrei Nazarov said.

Ukraine capitalized on its first power play at 4:57 to put itself on the scoreboard.

Russian-born forward Yevgen Belukhin, who plays his first tournament after earning Ukrainian citizenship, scored after pass to the crease from behind the net from Andri Mikhnov, who won a tough battle at the end boards with Bence Sziranyi.

Oleg Tymchenko almost scored another goal on a loose puck around the 12-minute mark in the opening frame but despite a heavy 17-3 shot advantage for Ukraine the period ended with a 1-0 lead.

In the second period the Ukrainians were rewarded for their strong offensive work and Oleg Shafarenko made use of a rebound after several players were shooting from a close range in front of Zoltan Hetenyi during a 5-on-3 while Tamas Pozsgai and Istvan Sofron had to serve penalties.

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The Ukrainians also converted the second Hungarian penalty as Oleg Tymchenko scored on a rebound 63 seconds later. Denys Petrukhno’s shot from the blueline bounced back from the boards and Tymchenko was at the right spot to move the puck over the unprotected goal line.

Hungary’s coach Rich Chernomaz was all but happy with his team’s discipline, or the lack thereof.

“We had ten penalties and the majority was stupid stick fouls,” Chernomaz said. “They manhandled us on their power play.”

With four points from the two games against the second- and third-seeded teams the Ukrainians underlined their ambitions in Goyang while Hungary will need to improve from today’s game if it wants to make its fans’ dream of promotion come true.


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